It is true that employees are often the weakest link businesses face when it comes to cyber security. When we consider how to cope with this, we understand that training employees on the ins and outs of cyber security can certainly go a long way to minimizing this threat. However, there is another side that businesses of all sizes need to consider – when an insider becomes a threat maliciously. According to a new paper published by Intel®, over 40% of data loss is caused by insiders both by accident and maliciously. Here’s a look at what businesses can do to deal with insider security threats:
What Exactly is An Insider Threat?
Cyber security experts often define an “insider threat” as something that is done maliciously. These are not to be confused with the type of threat that occurs when a misinformed employee gets taken in by a scam, unknowingly opens an email that contains ransomware, or clicks on an image that contained a virus. Insider threats are different because the malicious intent originated with the employee and not from an outside source.
For example, when an employee uses the fact that they can access sensitive information to extract this information for personal gain, this is considered an insider threat. Although the insider is behaving like a hacker in that they want to us the information for their own gain, they didn’t need to use the standard tricks that a hacker needs to use. They accessed the information easily since it was likely part of their job description.
What Can Companies Do About Insider Threats?
When creating a cyber security plan, it is important to understand that insider threats need to be part of it. Many companies spend most of their resources on preventing things like viruses, malware, ransomware, and CEO fraud from impacting their business that they fail to consider that insider threats are a real concern. Companies can start by clearly defining the insider threats in which they are most susceptible.
The defenses for dealing with malicious insider threats and accidental ones are pretty similar. Here’s a look at what companies can do:
- Training employees about cyber security can at last minimize the accidental insider threats.
- Control access. Restricting access to sensitive data can also minimize the risk of insider threats. Implementing tighter measures for vetting employees when it comes to allowing them access to sensitive information can also help. It is also important to stop insider access from occurring when malicious activity is suspected.
- Monitor activity. IT departments should consider implementing strategies that will help them monitor activity on their network and stop the threats immediately before they can cause considerable damage.
Since insider threats tend to be malicious, businesses of all sizes need to do what they can to tighten their cyber security protocols and increase employee education. For more information on how to cope with insider cyber security threats, contact Roan Solutions.