Every employee is a potential entry point, especially critical teams that house sensitive information such as privileged IT, HR, finance, or legal departments.
In fact, hackers are now soliciting IT employees and other privileged users to buy access to critical systems as an insider threat. A investigation release in 2022, found that 65% of surveyed IT and security managers or their employees have been approached to participate in these cyberattacks, a 17% increase from a similar rate investigation in November ’21.
In many cases, cybercriminals target specific individuals to gain access to their employer – or, more specifically, their employer’s trove of sensitive data. By impersonating someone, you can gain access to their business account information and, therefore, any data stored in these systems.
For example, the recent Colonial Pipeline Cyberattack involved compromised credentials of a single rank-and-file employee — who typically has fewer digital protections than executives — to obtain the data that disrupted fuel pipeline operations across the U.S. East Coast
A successful attack could lead threat actors to a virtual gold mine of employee and customer data, which they can use for other cyberattacks, such as ransomware orsell on the dark web.