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7 Sep 2021

How to Prevent Insider Threats


Insider threats exist in every organisation regardless of how much trust you have in your employees. While at times cybersecurity risks can stem from employee mistakes, there can also be opportunistic employees that don’t have your organisation’s best interest in mind. As virtual teams continue to expand and organisation data is stored in clouds and passed along through networks, it’s critical that there are actions being taken to stop insider threats. It’s important to keep employees up to date about what your organisation is doing to prevent insider threats to continue the line of trust between employees.

Determining what practices should be prioritised when focusing on insider threats can be challenging if you aren’t familiar with the territory. We’ve outlined a few steps that you can begin to implement today that will keep both your organisation and employees safe from hackers.

Prioritise Education

Maintaining cybersecurity education programs for all employees is a strong method to prevent insider threats. By training all employees with cybersecurity best practices, they may be less likely to mistakenly put the organisation at risk for a cyberattack in the future. The CISA suggests promoting a supportive cybersecurity culture where cyber risks and best practices are openly discussed and shared. When employees have more knowledge on the cybersecurity of their organisation, they will be more vigilant in upholding these practices and ensuring that their actions won’t put the company at risk.

Manage Information Access

Many teams have worked remotely since the pandemic leading to the majority of company information being shared through cloud services or group servers. While these tools are convenient, they can be the perfect way for sensitive information to become exposed. According to KPMG, organisations should document what teams have access to certain information and monitor login activity on databases that contain sensitive data. By organisations carefully managing who has access to important information, they can avoid having it fall into the wrong employee’s hands.

Ensure Physical Security

When building a cybersecurity plan, physical security may not be at the top of your mind considering most company information is shared within the cloud. There are still aspects of technology though that need to be physically secured so the organisation can successfully operate. For example, following practices like storing flash drives in a secure location or keeping a computer with sensitive files password protected are all ways of ensuring physical cybersecurity. The levels of these practices may vary depending on if your team is remote or in person but nevertheless, they can save your organisation from a potential cyberattack.

As your organisation continues to strengthen its cybersecurity plan, insider threats should be a top priority. By creating a strong system between employees and technology, your organisation can operate in an increasingly secure space. While trust should remain between employees and upper management, cybersecurity incidents can occur at any time regardless of how trustworthy an employee is. Taking precautions against insider threats can save your organisation from a cyberattack and keep sensitive company data safe.

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