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By Jasmine Chennikara-Varghese

The biggest security threats are already inside your cyber landscape. Inside users silently navigate through your applications and databases, possibly exposing data through accidental misuse, compromised credentials or malicious intent. However, security teams prioritize monitoring and searching for attacks and intrusions coming from outside. Insider threat is usually considered mitigated with protections in accordance with data and access governance policies which ensure privileged access management, multi-factor authentication, data encryption and more. More mature cyber security programs will include user behavior monitoring to detect malicious activities and data breaches.

The key to proactively identifying insider threats is building insights about user behavior in order to baseline behaviors and then detect deviations from those baselines.  There are several levels of awareness that can be employed to understand users. Many organizations leverage monitoring at the network or device level to track when user devices connect to critical servers, the volumes of data exchanged and the business application used. Based on this, some understanding of network user behavior can be derived – typical time of day for access, session length, and data exchange volumes.

But to get deep visibility into user behavior in your critical applications, analysis of the transactions and activities performed by the user account within the context of the application itself is required. With the right application expertise, you can dig deep and go beyond network connections and byte counts.

You can determine what transactions and activities the users have performed within the specific application which resulted in that large data transfer. You can also analyze what authorization changes were made or what sensitive data was modified before or after the transactions were executed. With deep application awareness, you can monitor application user behavior at a granular level, enabling anomaly detection of transactions, authorizations, application settings and master data.

Learn how Pathlock can power the visibility into your applications and accelerate detection of user behaviors that threaten your critical business data.

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