In this new age of hybrid working and accelerated digital transformation, the cyber security landscape continues to throw out new and increased threats. With coronavirus as the primary agent of change, new ways of working are causing a shift in employment culture and a notable increase in the threat of attack or breach from the inside. In this article we will outline the main types of insider threat, why insider threat is growing, and how to reduce the risk of cyber breach or attack from inside the workplace.
What Is Insider Threat?
Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Report shows that 30% of cyber breaches are caused by insider activity, be that deliberate or accidental.
Insider threats may come from current employees, former employees or contractors, all of whom will have access your company data and be familiar with your security protocols including areas of vulnerability. New hybrid and remote working models are creating more opportunities for insider breach or attack. Insider threat is difficult to control and the effect an insider breach or attack can have on an organisation could be devastating, both financially and reputationally.
Intentional insider threats are usually motivated by financial gain, revenge, or espionage; unintentional insider threats are typically the result of carelessness or poor security practices.
Organisations can take steps to prevent insider threats. First, let’s look at some of the key indicators that your organisation may be at risk.
Intentional Insider Threats – Red Flags
Employees who are deliberately planning an insider attack usually leave clues to their intention. Manual monitoring is necessary if you are to notice these indicators and take steps to stop a breach. You should look out for any of these behaviours:
Accidental Insider Threats – Education is Key
The UK Government’s Cyber Breaches Survey states that 83% of cyber-attacks on businesses are from phishing attacks. While you can put technical controls in place such as…
…It has been proven repeatedly that the best way to prevent a phishing attack is to educate and train your employees to identify phishing attempts. They are your business’s last line of defence.
How can you prevent insider threat?
Before you begin to build your defence strategy, first you need to acknowledge the threat is real. It’s difficult for employers to believe that employees might have bad intentions however an objective, “zero trust”-type approach must be taken. Next, you need to dedicate time, skills and resource into building a programme. Here are a few preventative tactics to consider:
Insider threat is a very real and dangerous threat to businesses of all sizes. While there are many ways to prevent it, the most important thing is to be aware of the problem and to take steps to protect your business.
Contact us for support or information on how to minimise the risk of cyber security breaches or attack.
Join our 30 minute webinar with law firm Field Seymour Parkes (or watch it on playback) for practical and legal advice on protecting your business from rogue employees.