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5 Cybersecurity Threats Coming From Inside Your Business

When the word cybersecurity is mentioned, we often think about outsider threats – hackers and strangers trying to get to our data to make a profit. However, what if we told you that some of the biggest threats to your data could come from within your company?

Written by Courtney Farrow

November 2021

5 Cybersecurity Threats Coming From Inside Your Business

When the word cybersecurity is mentioned, we often think about outsider threats – hackers and strangers trying to get to our data to make a profit. However, what if we told you that some of the biggest threats to your data could come from within your company?

Below are five different types of cybersecurity threats that could come from within your business.

Accidents and mistakes.

One of the most common causes of cybersecurity breaches is careless mistakes and accidents by well-meaning employees.

It could be anything from not enabling two-factor authentication, storing sensitive information on a private cloud or device, or even clicking on a dodgy link.

Even if it’s not intended to do harm, it can still cause a lot of damage.

How to tackle it:

Limit people’s access to critical documents and only give permissions to those who need access to specific folders and files.

Reinforce your cybersecurity culture – go beyond training and tick boxes and embed it into everyday life at work.

Unhappy (or ex) employees.

Disgruntled employees who want to get their own back on companies and managers can be a huge threat to the security of your company.

While a lot of us have had bad jobs and dreamt of the day we leave, some people take it a step further and try to cause damage to their previous employers.

Thankfully, this is less common, but it doesn’t mean it never happens.

How to tackle it:

Create a strict access management process – removing permissions and access from leavers on the day they leave the company.

Meanwhile, you should also be limiting access to current employees to only the files and assets they need to do their jobs.

You can usually spot changes in the behaviour of staff who are feeling unhappy enough in their role that they would deliberately sabotage you. For example, a change in workload, overenthusiasm for their job, quitting out of the blue and declining work performance.

Deliberate and malicious.

Luckily, so-called “insider agents” that deliberately abuse cybersecurity rules for their own gain are rare, but this doesn’t mean you can let your guard down.

These types of people know exactly what they’re doing, and their actions are usually calculated. They often know cybersecurity practices inside-out already, so reinforcing training materials won’t help to tackle the problem.

How to tackle it:

Adopt a “trust no one” or “zero trust” approach to sensitive data. This way, there is a reduced opportunity for people to abuse their privileges and access rights to files and documents.

There could be some changes in their behaviour, such as communication with competitor companies and personal financial changes without explanation.

Third-parties and suppliers.

Many businesses work with and trust other companies and suppliers – and while these organisations are less likely to act with malicious intent, it doesn’t mean they are immune to the negligence that causes data breaches.

Third-party companies may not have the same cybersecurity awareness or policies. As a result, granting access to sensitive data could quickly become a security nightmare.

How to tackle it:

Enforce a strict security policy for third-party suppliers and limit access to a need-to-know basis.

While it may not be practical to deliver in-depth cybersecurity training to every company you work with, you can still identify key areas where there could be a risk and take steps to protect your most sensitive data.

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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