An insider threat is a security risk that originates from within the targeted organization. Anyone with access to sensitive information can become a threat to the organization, intentionally or unintentionally. Insider threat comes in many forms – it could be a current well-meaning employee who is negligent or unaware, or a disgruntled current or former employee with more malicious intent.
1. Implement a Security Awareness Program
Provided with the necessary resources, an uninformed employee at high risk of becoming an insider threat could become a company’s best asset. Create a sense of responsibility and heighten awareness of suspicious activity. Enforce the importance of protocol, and encourage open dialogue, so employees feel comfortable reporting incidents immediately.
2. Train, Test, & Retrain
Train employees to recognize when an outsider or insider is seeking sensitive information. Post critical information in common areas, highlighting ways to spot social engineering scams, phishing emails, and insider threat. Take proactive steps to educate employees, then test their knowledge by sending a simulated phishing email to see how many employees take the bait, retrain if necessary.
3. The Principle of Least Privileges
The Principle of Least Privileges describes a security value that states that users’ permissions should remain limited to the essentials. Perform frequent audits of your workforce’s permissions and privileges to determine when permissions should be added, modified, or removed. Unnecessary access to sensitive information could cause unintentional consequences. Only those who follow strict policy and procedure when handling highly confidential data should have this access.