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How To Prevent Insider Cybersecurity Threats 

When the word cybersecurity pops up, businesses often think about threats from outside their company and overlook the risks taken within their company – whether it’s a careless mistake by an employee or a deliberate leak with malicious intent.

Written by Courtney Farrow

January 2022

Prevent Insider Cybersecurity Threats

When the word cybersecurity pops up, businesses often think about threats from outside their company and overlook the risks taken within their company – whether it’s a careless mistake by an employee or a deliberate leak with malicious intent.

Previously, we created a guide on what types of insider threats businesses need to be aware of.

Below, we give you our top tips on how to prevent them.

Improve cybersecurity awareness.

There probably aren’t many people (if any) in your company who do not have a basic awareness of cybersecurity risks and dangers.

However, as awareness increases, sometimes important messages get diluted in the process.

Cybersecurity may become a tick box exercise, rather than embedded in a company’s culture.

There are some ways you can combat this:

  • Refreshing training materials and cybersecurity resources.
  • Enforcing cybersecurity rules when they’re broken.
  • Getting senior leaders to embrace the rules and lead by example.
  • Having an open-door policy when it comes to questions about cybersecurity.

Keep an eye out for the signs.

There are a few key signs to spot when it comes to insider cybersecurity threats, whether it’s a well-meaning employee, a disgruntled leaver or someone wanting to make a financial gain.

Look out for people unintentionally increasing a cybersecurity risk, like sharing files from personal cloud storage or sharing passwords over email.

Meanwhile, unhappy employees may change their attitude to work, a decline in performance or change behaviour towards colleagues.

Lastly, those who are out to make a financial gain from your sensitive data may be talking to competitors, quitting unexpectedly, trying to access/download secure files or having a drastic change in personal finances.

Here is a guide on how to spot the signs of an insider security threat.

Monitor file access.

With secure cloud storage software, like Microsoft 365, you can track and monitor who has access to which file and when they last opened downloaded or edited files.
This is essential for preventing potential cybersecurity breaches.

Some things to look out for include people accessing files at odd times outside of work hours, downloading huge chunks of data onto their devices (maybe a personal computer or USB stick) or even trying to access files outside of their privileges and permissions.

Limit access to a need-to-know basis.

Adopting a “trust no one” or “zero trust” approach is one of the best ways you can reduce your risk of a data breach.

This doesn’t mean being hostile towards your employees – it simply means severely limiting the access to sensitive files and data and only giving permissions (maybe even temporarily) to those who need it.

By doing this, you can tighten up your security and protect your most critical files.

Do you want to know how you can strengthen your company’s cybersecurity? Get in touch today to find out more.

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