When considering the data security of your organization, there are two perspectives that you need to keep in mind. The first is that of the data you are trying to secure. By developing protocols, following best practices, and supplementing with software, you can put in a lot of work in locking down and protecting your sensitive data. But the second perspective is perhaps even more important – that of the potential insider threat. Having a people-centric security strategy can help your team identify potential insider threats before they act. It’s important to recognize the early indicators and develop procedures for how to react to a potential insider threat. Here are some of those early indicators.
Heightened Personal Risk Factors
A people-centric strategy thrives on gaining information about the people in your organization. And one of the best ways to do this is through typical conversations. We say that security is everyone’s responsibility, but your security team really should focus on building bridges with your HR team in particular. HR is responsible for gaining intimate knowledge of individuals and can be a huge ally in helping your security team identify and respond to a potential insider threat early. For example, they’ll likely know which employees have been put on performance improvement plans and may not be around at your company for too much longer. These employees have a heightened risk of developing into insider threats, but you’ll be able to be proactive in securing your assets ahead of time.
Misusing Security Exceptions
Every organization will need to dole out exceptions to a security policy at some point no matter how tightly constructed your policy might be. Problems come up, however, when an employee might take advantage of their security exception to do serious damage to the organization. Amazingly, the most common security exception involves allowing the use of a USB thumb drive – amazing because it is one of the easiest ways to exfiltrate sensitive data, making it a huge security risk. Outdated technology can also manifest in some applications still in common usage at the organization. This could happen because the cost to upgrade to more secure software can be prohibitive. Your team needs to be vigilant, avoid doling out security exceptions unnecessarily, review and audit exceptions on a regular basis, and employ user activity monitoring tools to identify potential scenarios before they unfold into something more serious.
More than half of all insider incidents are unintentional and are caused primarily by a lack of training or a momentary lapse in practicing good security techniques. And with the growth of remote work and the rising pressure to be productive, many employees are taking shortcuts in their security procedures that could lead to potential, unintentional insider threats. Set up alerts in your system to identify potential protocol breaches early so you can follow up with these employees quickly.
Learn More Advanced Tips and Strategies to Manage Insider Risk at ITMG’s Advanced Solutions Seminar
ITMG’s upcoming Advanced Solutions Seminar is designed to teach cybersecurity professionals how to achieve organizational security with our proven model to manage insider risk, the RiskTKO model. Reserve your spot today by visiting our training page here!
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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.