What is an Insider Threat, what to do about it and how your business can prevent it?

What is an Insider Threat, what to do about it and how your business can prevent it?



Data security has been a trending topic for smaller and larger organizations for quite some time now because cyber-attacks are becoming more sophisticated. Implementing an awareness program for your employees that is focused on cyber-security prevention is crucial to ensuring that employees are working safely and securely.

Many growing businesses fail to see that their biggest cybersecurity breach tends to come from inside the company. An insider threat can be defined as a risk to an organization brought forward by the actions of business associates, vendors, contractors, current and former employees.

What can you do?

A global shift of working from home has affected data theft in 2020 and will continue to do so this year. According to industry analyst firm Forrester, 33% of all incidents will be caused internally. So, what preventative measures can a growing business take so an insider breach does not occur? Implementing a cyber security awareness training for employees can help minimize risk. Here are six methods for protecting an organization from cyber-attacks:

Create an acceptable user policy

This policy puts parameters around your important data, files, and assets on how they can be used. For example, are USB drives allowed for backup purposes, or are users allowed to store company data in their own personal cloud storage?

Create a privacy policy

When your company has a clear privacy policy, it tells users what they can do with the company data. Consider things like how employee data is stored and encrypted, and what safeguards are in place to protect a user’s data. If you need more help coming up with a list of privacy policy questions, our cybersecurity specialists can assist.

Create a mobile computing policy

With many companies adapting to work from home, having a mobile computing policy lays out rules for employees who have offsite access to company resources. Most growing businesses have the misconception that maintaining security when employees work remotely can be difficult and expensive, however this is not the case. For instance, are there specific rules required for travel to high-risk countries, or how does your staff access company data remotely. Any device out of office can access your organization’s resources, however, by having a policy in place, it dictates how.

Depending on the nature of your business, all the above policies may not be necessary, get in touch with us to learn what is necessary to protect your organization’s data.

Educate your team on proper security awareness

Your staff’s misunderstanding of technology and trusting unknown sources can lead to data loss, unauthorized access, and malware infection. Providing training around these three topics can help reduce technology insider threats and help set the standard for your team:

  • 1. Phishing emails - Explaining what this is, what to look out for and how to examine malicious content without falling for it can help prevent a data breach.
  • 2. What to do in case of a malware/cyber/ ransomware attack - In case of an attack, everyone in your organization should know exactly what to do and who to call for better damage control.
  • 3. Adhere to existing policies - Think of every common security policy that your business may have set in place and ensure that every new employee is trained and understands how to adhere to the rules.Since regular employees are generally the prime target, providing training and proper education can help mitigate the insider threat in the fastest way possible. Hire a professional IT company to help figure out mandatory training that all employees should have when it comes to accessing data securely.Make it a habit that every 6 months, a training session/ email newsletter is sent with information on best practices for employees to follow.

Implement data loss protection (DLP)

Endpoint data loss protection (DLP) provides you the power to functionally disable USB storage and block data from being transferred into a cloud storage. If this technology is implemented, it needs to stay relevant and up to date. Contact us to see how we can help you with this data protection method.

Implement endpoint malware detection

Choosing the right malware control can be challenging since there are so many out there. However, when you implement and learn how to protect your company from cyber-attacks, it can prevent malware from executing and compromising your data. If you are not a technical person, ensure you speak to a cybersecurity specialist to assist. Our team is qualified and has over 20 years’ experience, contact us to learn more.


Implementing basic cybersecurity processes can help mitigate insider threats in your business. One thing to keep in mind is that you need to maintain and monitor your staffs input to ensure that no malice acts are being done.

Insider threats will be always be an issue, whether the company is large or small. However, by creating policies (not too stringent) that add parameters within which your business can run securely, providing regular training to your users to help keep them sharp, and adding some technological controls on top to provide backup when your users inevitably slip up, you can go a long way toward mitigation and protecting your most important data assets.