Cyber for Plan Sponsors

How Internal Employees Cause Data Breaches


While the popular image of a cyber attack is from someone from the outside, more than a third of data breaches involve an internal actor. Misuse of existing privileges by these internal actors often are what give access to attackers. But how exactly do they misuse their privileges to give cyber attackers access?

Abusing existing privileges is the most common way in which internal actors expose their company’s sensitive data. They use the access that they have to get around cyber defenses that would prevent an outside actor from gaining access to that same data. Mishandling data they have access to is the second most common method of a misuse of privileges, followed by using unapproved workarounds, knowledge and email abuse, and possession abuse. Employees have also been known to use unapproved hardware or software to exposure the company’s data.

Their motives are often financially motivated, but sometimes disgruntled employees just want to hurt the company on the way out. There are other employees who steal sensitive information to give themselves a leg up in their next position, as well.

With internal actors having many different methods available to access their company’s data, companies have to be prepared to deal with data breaches. They must be managed and contained before they get out of control.

How can you best manage and contain cyber attacks? Cyber liability insurance!

Colonial Surety offers an included cyber liability insurance endorsement for our ERISA fidelity bond packages with fiduciary liability insurance to best protect your plan against a cyber attack.

Colonial’s cyber insurance provides a services-based solution to help plan sponsors manage data breaches successfully. These services include a dedicated team of cyber breach professionals who assist plan sponsors at every stage of incident investigation and breach response. These professionals coordinate the carefully vetted forensics experts and specialized lawyers to help plan sponsors establish what’s been compromised; assess plan sponsor responsibility; and, notify those individuals affected. In addition, these services will also coordinate credit or identity monitoring, and PR advice to help the plan sponsor safeguard its reputation. Of course, Colonial’s cyber insurance also indemnifies and defends plan sponsors from covered lawsuits or regulatory actions, the risk of which may be reduced by a well-coordinated breach response, but can never be completely eliminated.