What is a First-Party Compromise?

A first-party compromise occurs when a hacker is able to access your network for a number of malicious or otherwise criminal activities. Most commonly, the end goal is to gain personal or confidential information. Once it is attained, the hacker is able to use or sell that information as they see fit. There are a rather large number of ways for a first-party compromise to occur. Unlike third-party compromises, a first-party compromise is a type of breach that occurs internally. As you can see, cyber threats do not always come from outside influences.

Poor Password Management

As of 2018, poor password management was a top security concern. From designing ineffective passwords like 1,2,3,4,5 or “password” to actually marking them down, there are several ways to mismanage passwords. As it turns out, 9 out of 10 security experts admittedly struggle when it comes to managing privileged info such as passwords. Unfortunately, in a time where we each have at least three different online passwords, keeping then straight is near impossible for some.

In fact, recent surveys have shown nearly 20% of participants keep paper records of this information. Shockingly enough, another 60% of participants disclosed they only monitor a few privileged accounts. This makes it easy for hackers because these weak or lesser-monitored areas are like a breeding ground for data breaches.

Internal Bad Actors

Often times, internal threats are not taken as seriously as those coming from the outside, including these internal bad actors. This entails those people working within the business, complete with some level of privilege or trust. These people ultimately have access to and plenty of opportunities to compromise sensitive information. From social security numbers to medical files, the possibilities are practically endless, and this is a problem facing every business today, no matter the size.


A denial-of-service attack makes it so legitimate users cannot access anything from devices to information systems, and other network resources. Naturally, the cause behind such an event is that of a malicious cyber threat. Unfortunately, this type of attack can compromise a number of services from email to websites, banking and other online accounts, and more. This is done by flooding the target with so much traffic they cannot respond and their computer inevitably crashes.

Combatting First-Party Compromises

With over half of all surveyed businesses admitting they would not be ready if their data was breached, things definitely need to change. In order to protect a business against cyber-attacks, or in this case, first-party compromises, your data should naturally be safeguarded. Furthermore, employees should be trained on safe internet usage, practiced password management, and updated procedures.

As far as what is stored in the system in question, users should keep only imperative files and information. Whatever is not needed should be properly disposed of and all security software kept up to date. By taking these measures you can at least stop some of these threats, saving your company and employee information. While it is difficult to guarantee complete protection, the more you know and stay up to date with security, the more at ease you can ultimately feel.