How File Server Auditing Can Help Prevent Insider Threats

Every year, insider threats consistently seem to represent one of the biggest risks to IT security for organizations all over the world. The problem is not going away any time soon. In fact, the annual Insider Threat Report revealed that a staggering 90% of those surveyed felt that they were vulnerable to insider attacks. On top of this, the biggest single risk factor contributing to the rise of insider threats was excessive access privileges.


What is an Insider Threat?

Insider threats occur as a result of your internal employees. The attack can be either malicious, or in many cases completely accidental. However, the result is always the same; loss of critical business data resulting in damage to both the reputation and bottom line of the organization.

There are many scenarios that may lead to an internal attack, from a disgruntled employee to simply carelessness. However, they usually have one thing in common; they have been awarded levels of privilege that weren’t necessary. Many organizations operate on a level of trust with their users where they grant them levels of privilege above and beyond what they require to do their job. Operating in this way drastically increases the chances of you falling victim to an insider threat.  


How File Server Auditing Helps Prevent Insider Threats

Insider threats can be extremely difficult to detect and prevent. Many organizations have huge budgets to spend on protecting themselves against external threats, including anything from firewalls to physical security guards, but do little to secure data from within. As a result, insider attacks can go unnoticed for months (and, in some cases, years), causing untold damage along the way.

So, what can you do to prevent it from happening?

One of the most effective methods of detecting and preventing insider threats is to employ a proactive and continuous means of auditing the changes your most privileged users are making to your critical files and folder in File Server. By keeping an eye on your privileged users, you ensure that no unwanted or unauthorized changes take place without your knowledge, which puts you in a better position to react to the change and mitigate the damages.

The native auditing options available to you are very limited, as they generate a lot of noise and are very manual. This means that if you do want continuous and proactive auditing, doing so manually would be both very time consuming and complex. That’s why most experts recommend making use of third-party solutions.


5 Ways LepideAuditor for File Server Helps with Insider Threats

LepideAuditor for File Server is a scalable, affordable and powerful File Server auditing solution that aims to give full visibility into changes taking place in File Server. The solution tracks and alerts on all aspects of file/folder level activity and provides the information to you in easy-to-real reports.

Let’s take a look at five ways LepideAuditor for File Server helps detect and prevent insider threats:


1. See who your privileged users are

LepideAuditor automatically calculates the NFTS permissions and Share permissions on your File Servers to give you accurate and on-demand reports of your current effective permissions. By doing this, you can determine whether the users with privileged access to your files and folders really require this level of visibility. This will help you employ a policy of least privilege, where users get only the level of access they require to do their job, nothing more.


2. Identify and investigate whenever permissions change

Once you have identified who your privileged users are and ensured that you have applied a policy of least privilege, you will need to know whenever a permission change takes place. Any change to permissions needs to be monitored and reported on as it could well mean that a user is attempting to access data he/she are not authorized to view. LepideAuditor enables you to investigate how permissions to a file/folder have been applied and what changes have been made.


3. Detect critical changes to files and folders

Any changes made to your files and folders could be the sign of an insider threat. For example, if a user goes into a sensitive folder and copies all the files, it could be a sign that he/she is looking to distribute them outside the organization for personal profit. LepideAuditor allows you to monitor and alert on whenever a file or folder is copied, moved, deleted, modified and much more. The solution also notes the time, drive, folder, name of the user involved as well as other key bits of audit information.


4. Automate response to threats

Sometimes insider threats occur no matter what actions you’ve taken to prevent them. In these cases, having an incident response plan that is automatic and immediate helps mitigate the damages and shut down the attack. LepideAuditor for File Server enables you to do this by running your own custom script upon detecting a single event or a series of events over a period of time. For example, if you see an unusually large number of File copies over a very short period of time, you can execute a script to automatically delete a user, shut down a server and much, much more.  


5. Proactive and Continuous Auditing

Here’s what it comes down to. By deploying a solution like LepideAuditor, you ensure that you have a solution that is constantly running in the background, collecting and processing event logs into readable reports that are delivered to you in real time. It contains numerous pre-defined reports to help you get complete visibility into your File Server.


Next Steps

Most organizations allow you to trial File Server auditing software for free, so that you can assess it in your environment and see the changes taking place to your critical files and folders. At Lepide, we offer a 15-day free trial of LepideAuditor with full functionality so that you have more than enough time to assess whether it is right for you. Start your free trial today.