Recall those days when we first heard about COVID-19. Did you ever imagine the quarantined lives we were heading to back then? I did not either. And yet, here we are, letting our staff commence their tasks from their bedrooms. But is it safe for your organization?
According to a report, the new employees in any corporation currently were the primary cause of security incidents about four years back. While you do your best to safeguard your data against IT security threats like malware and ransomware, you must never forget that some of the biggest threats to your business might be handling your company’s next big project.
You must learn to identify and eliminate such folks from your workspace before it’s too late- a process known as insider threat detection.
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There are various ways to identify and track any employee who poses a risk to your organization and its data security. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the primary ways in which you can do it. But before we get into insider threat detection, let us discuss a bit about insider threats.
What Is An Insider Threat?
An insider threat is any current or former employee who worked in your organization and has access to your profile’s systems & data and can use it to harm your company in any way.
Insider threats are of two types:
When we refer to insider threats, we are, most of the time, referring to the malicious ones. They are the employees/ ex-employees who commit data leaking and breaching on purpose. They tend to have personal intentions of sabotaging your infrastructure, stealing your intellectual property for personal gain, fraud, etc.
The accidental insiders, on the other hand, are the employees who unwillingly lead to malicious activities due to a lack of proper information and training regarding handling the company data. Cyber attackers such as hackers use various malware and phishing tools to trick such people into handing over your personal information without them even being aware of it.
Any organization must be capable of tracking both of these threats before they cause any significant damage. They are highly dangerous for your integrity, and it is why you need a protocol for insider threat detection among your staff. Let us get right into it.
Best Practices For Insider Threat Detection
Every organization must implement specific policies and software on their premises and also among their remote workers to ensure discipline among all. Follow all the steps from the beginning to implement insider threat detection in the long run. Below, we have outlined 05 ways in which you can do it:
1. Apply User Access Management
According to a survey, about 62% of employees say that they have access to the company information that they shouldn’t see. Limiting access to an organization’s data is very crucial in protecting company privacy, or else it would get really tricky to catch the culprit in cases of data breaching.
Prohibit the sharing of unnecessary documents among the staff from the different departments. Even if you allow sharing of the files, restrict allowing editing access to any employee unless deemed necessary.
For instance, it is okay if an employee shares articles and website links from the same company with their colleague, but they must not share the doc files that contain the content of these websites unless asked to do so.
2. Provide Security Awareness Training
Insider threat detection, in most cases, concerns tracking the malicious staff who willingly pose a threat for all, but what about the accidental breachers?
You can, undoubtedly, catch them off guard as well, but the solution to accidental insider threats is not punishment but prevention. What you must strive to do is train your employees beforehand so that they don’t become a security risk later on.
Introduce various employee-friendly, easy to grasp IT security training. Teach your colleagues how cyber attackers target their emails and IPs, make them understand why they must never work in a public WiFi. Educate them about the remote access risks, the dangers of firmware security, how to identify and get rid of malware, adware, etc.
Also, keep in mind the shadow IT risks and the repercussions of not using VPNs while performing particular tasks.
The more your staff knows about cybersecurity and data management, the more they can identify, report, and avoid any abnormal or risky behavior prevailing online or among their fellow employees.
3. Monitor Abnormal Behavior
It doesn’t matter whatever you do- the truth is that you need to monitor everyone’s actions in order to maintain discipline and decorum among your workers.
Employee monitoring will only be fruitful when you decide to have a baseline of what is and isn’t abnormal behavior and stick to it. Observe, compare, and assess the actions of everyone- the usual working hours, the shared files, total working hours, etc.
The signs of abnormal behavior may include:
✔️ Transfering unauthorized files;
✔️ Installing suspicious and buggy applications;
✔️ Logging into the working devices at odd hours;
✔️ Copying info unrelated to their jobs;
✔️ Creating unauthorized accounts on platforms.
Look for any such behavior mentioned above, and intervene immediately to find out what they are up to before it’s too late. Deploy monitoring tools like EmpMonitor on your staff’s systems to keep a close eye on their movements without breaching their privacy.
4. Strict Rules and Legal Actions
Making rules is not enough if you cannot maintain decorum on your premises. Make rules that abide by the laws and make sure you take necessary action against the people who violate it. It is plausible to warn your employees for the first time, in case their actions do not lead to gruesome results. But you must never consider an error if it causes significant harm to your company’s reputation or intellectual property.
Also, make sure you do not treat your old employees differently or consider their mistakes. Or else no one will take the policies seriously. When your staff is aware of such strict rules, they seldom cross the line, and thus, insider threat detection becomes more feasible.
5. Decrease the Opportunity of Threat
Because prevention is better than cure. Insider threat management is a plausible way of having control over your company’s data. Implement policies that suit the privacy of the employers as well as the employees and still allows them to access the necessary documents whenever required.
For instance, you can create separate official accounts for your staff on Email, Drive, Dropbox, Editing software, social media, etc. Restrict them from using any personal accounts on the system. This way, you can monitor their official IDs without breaching their data. It is a better way of insider threat detection because you can practically check everyone’s account and look for any suspicious activities.
Pro Tip: Heavily Screen the New Hires
A virtual hug for my folks who are still reading ahead! Here’s additional advice for you- monitor the screens of your new employees a bit more carefully. The chances of accidental information leakage are higher among the people who are new to any organization.
As a matter of fact, many employees are not at all aware of any online threats and tend to click on any link that they find enticing. Protect your systems from a malware attack by keeping a close eye on each and every staff- especially the newly hired ones.
Wrapping It Up
Insider threat detection is an inevitable step that no organization can skip, especially when working with remote staff. It doesn’t matter how protected you keep your company’s data- you must always keep an eye on the potential threats lurking on your premises.
Train your IT employees in the best possible way to track and avoid any such mishaps and make sure that all the policies that you implement are truly securing your business.
All the tips that we have mentioned above will put you on the right path. Contact us today to let us help you in taking your company’s security to the next level.