The constant evolution of the workplace has led to a situation where risk management is becoming more and more complex. Sophisticated new technology, the rise of the remote workplace (either due to the current coronavirus pandemic or as part of a greater trend towards outside vendors and contractors), and the increasing threat of interference from third parties have given C-suite executives headaches in recent years.
Insider threat mitigation involves protecting an organization from the damage that can be caused by an insider and by detecting and investigating any anomalies as quickly as possible. Agility in both uncovering threats and responding to them is of paramount importance. So what are some of the best strategies that you can use within your own insider risk management program to identify these threats?
Articulate and Define Potential Insider Threats
Broadly speaking, an insider threat can be anyone to whom access is granted who might act in a malicious or non-malicious manner impacting your assets (people, data, property, or network). A broad idea of what constitutes an insider threat, however, is not enough. You need a practicable, working definition of what exactly an insider threat looks like for your organization. Define and capture what types or personas of insider threats with which your organization is most concerned. Are you concerned with leakers? Employees taking information when they leave? Saboteurs? Negligent employees? All of the above? This is a basic first step that will allow you to craft effective strategies, policies, and procedures and will ultimately guide the program towards workable solutions that address your organization’s unique areas of risk.
Develop a Formal Insider Risk Program Consisting of a Broad Group of Invested Stakeholders
A formal program is one that has defined components, strategies, objectives, and roles. An insider risk management program works best with a broad set of stakeholders invested in its success. This should be comprised of support from upper management as well as various employees from across the different departments of the organization. This group should help out by addressing common reasons for concern as well as developing and propagating messaging to the broader population of the organization.
Learn to Recognize and Act on Precursor Behavior
Insider threats very rarely act out on impulse. Studies have shown that insiders move along a spectrum of various behaviors that lead to the actual act. The risk management team’s responsibility is to learn how to recognize these behaviors and act upon this information effectively before it turns into a security breach. The FBI’s Insider Threat Program recognizes that the framework for the detection of insider threats should have a basis in behavior and pattern recognition techniques. This will require developing risk models unique to your organization and leveraging various toolsets including Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM), Data Loss Prevention (DLP), User Activity Monitoring (UAM), and User Behavior Analytics (UBA). By identifying normal behavior both within and outside of a network, risk management teams can also learn to identify abnormal behaviors and other warning signs that a security event might be developing.
Contact ITMG to Assess Your Current Capabilities and Develop Strategies and Protocols Designed to Help Your Company Mitigate Your Insider Risk
ITMG is an industry leader in helping organizations throughout the United States strengthen their insider risk management programs and secure sensitive data and intellectual property. Our team of bona fide experts has the real-world experience necessary to plan out and create holistic security solutions tailored to the special needs and risks in your industry. Contact ITMG today to learn more about how we can help! You can also visit our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages for more updates and insights into the world of insider risk management.