Malicious Insiders

Malicious insiders are employees or contractors who intentionally cause harm to an organization. They can cause significant damage, but Signpost Six offers solutions to detect, mitigate, and prevent these threats.

What is a Malicious Insider?

A malicious insider, whether a current or former employee, contractor, or business partner, utilises their legitimate access to an organisation’s network, system, or data to negatively impact its interests. These insiders, unlike external attackers, use their position of trust and intimate knowledge of the organisation’s systems to carry out damaging activities, such as theft of sensitive information, system sabotage, fraud, and espionage, driven by various motivations including financial gain, personal grudges, or political beliefs. Distinguishing malicious insiders from compromised insiders, who are trusted individuals hijacked by an external attacker, is crucial. Recognising the threat of malicious insiders is the first step in defence, with the next being the implementation of robust security measures, an area where Signpost Six excels.

Malicious Insider Techniques


Fraud involves deceit or trickery for personal gain or to cause damage. Malicious insiders might use their access to commit financial fraud, such as embezzling money.


Sabotage refers to actions that disrupt normal operations or damage the organization's assets. A malicious insider may sabotage by intentionally causing system failures.


Espionage involves spying or using surveillance to gather classified or sensitive information. Malicious insiders can engage in corporate espionage to steal trade secrets for competitors.

Intellectual Property Theft

Intellectual property theft involves stealing proprietary information like patents, trademarks, or copyrights. Malicious insiders might sell this information to competitors.

How Signpost Six Helps Organisations

Addressing the threat of malicious insiders requires a multifaceted approach that extends beyond traditional cybersecurity measures. This is where Signpost Six steps in, offering a comprehensive solution to organisations grappling with insider threats.

Signpost Six employs a blend of behavioural science and security expertise to create a robust defence against insider threats. We delve into the root causes of malicious behaviour, understanding motivations, triggers, and actions to offer proactive solutions.

In essence, Signpost Six empowers organisations to not just defend against malicious insiders, but to create an environment where such threats are significantly mitigated.

Key Benefits of Choosing Signpost Six:

  • Expertise: Our team consists of professionals with deep knowledge in both behavioural sciences and cybersecurity, providing a unique and effective approach to managing insider threats.
  • Proactive Approach: We don’t just react to insider threats; we help you anticipate them. By understanding the behavioural signs and technological indicators, we enable organisations to detect potential threats early.
  • Comprehensive Solutions: From policy design and implementation to training and awareness programs, we offer a full suite of services to help organisations protect against and respond to insider threats effectively.
Insider Risk Solutions

In essence, Signpost Six empowers organisations to not just defend against malicious insiders, but to create an environment where such threats are significantly mitigated.

The Consequences of Malicious Insiders

Operational Disruption

Malicious insiders can cause substantial disruption to an organisation’s operations. They can sabotage systems, causing them to fail or perform poorly, or they can manipulate data, leading to poor decision-making or non-compliance with regulations.

Financial Losses

The financial impact of a malicious insider attack can be substantial. This can include direct losses from theft or fraud, costs associated with responding to the incident, and potential fines or lawsuits resulting from regulatory non-compliance or breach of contractual obligations.

Reputational Damage

Perhaps one of the most damaging effects of an insider attack is the harm to an organisation’s reputation. Loss of trust from customers, partners, and the public can have long-term effects on the organisation’s market position and future business opportunities.

Regulatory Violations

Malicious insiders can cause an organisation to fall foul of regulatory requirements, particularly in sectors such as finance, healthcare, and others where data protection and privacy are critical. This can lead to heavy fines and legal consequences.

Understanding these potential consequences underlines the importance of robust measures to detect, prevent, and respond to insider threats. With its comprehensive approach, Signpost Six helps organisations to mitigate these risks effectively.

How to Protect Against a Malicious Insider

Protect Critical Assets

Organisations must first identify and protect their most valuable assets – be it sensitive data, intellectual property, or critical systems. Implementing stringent access controls and regularly monitoring these assets can help prevent unauthorised activities and promptly detect any malicious actions.

Enforce Policies

Well-defined and enforced policies form the backbone of any security framework. These policies should cover acceptable use of systems and data, access controls, incident response, and other aspects of cybersecurity. Regular audits can ensure compliance and help identify potential areas of improvement.

Increase Visibility

Having a clear understanding of the activities within the network is crucial for detecting suspicious behaviour. Employing advanced detection tools and techniques such as User and Entity Behaviour Analytics (UEBA) can provide the necessary visibility and alert organisations to potential threats in real time.

Promote Culture Changes

Creating a security-conscious culture is a powerful deterrent to insider threats. Regular training and awareness programs can ensure employees understand the risks associated with their actions and their role in protecting the organisation’s assets. Encouraging open communication can also help identify potential threats and foster a proactive approach to security.

By taking these steps, organisations can significantly reduce the risk of malicious insider threats. However, implementing these measures requires expertise and a comprehensive understanding of the threat landscape – something that Signpost Six offers to its clients.

How Signpost Six Mitigates Malicious Insiders


Insider risk analysis & assessment 

To understand where you need to go, you must first understand where you are. Many companies already assess elements of insider risk individually but rarely evaluate how these countermeasures combine into a holistic approach. That is our speciality. We analyse threats, organisational context and current countermeasure maturity to identify countermeasure gaps that expose the organisation to unnecessary risk.  

Phase I


Insider risk strategy and prioritised road map
The gap analysis conducted in Phase I informs the design of an insider risk programme. Working together with you to understand your culture and stakeholder sensitivities, we help shape the initial programme strategy and roadmap. The strategy is further shaped during the stakeholder validation process and recommended pilot.

Phase II


General programme implementation and learning

The hard work of implementation requires quick wins and sustained momentum. In this phase we can take on the role of interim programme manager, setting up the programme and handing it over to your insider threat team once it is functional and trained. Our insider threat starter kit contains all the documents a programme manager needs to stand up a programme quickly - governance charters, policies, tailored metrics, run books, among other helpful documents. We also have numerous training options to get that first (and last!) stakeholder on board. 

Phase III


A malicious insider is a current or former employee, contractor, or business partner who has legitimate access to an organisation’s network, system, or data and uses it to harm the organisation’s interests.

Malicious insiders can cause operational disruption, financial losses, reputational damage, and regulatory violations. They can use methods such as theft of sensitive information, sabotage, fraud, and espionage.

Protection strategies include identifying and protecting critical assets, enforcing cybersecurity policies, increasing visibility into network activities, and promoting a security-conscious culture.

Signpost Six provides a comprehensive approach to managing insider threats, combining expertise in behavioural science and cybersecurity. We offer proactive solutions, from policy design and implementation to training and awareness programs.

A malicious insider intentionally harms an organisation, while a compromised insider is a trusted individual whose credentials or systems have been hijacked by an external attacker.

Shopping Bag 0