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Are Your Staff Your Biggest Cybersecurity Threat?

Every online business owner will be aware of the potential consequences of a successful cyber-attack. This causes many online business owners to go out and purchase expensive, sophisticated cybersecurity software. While, of course, having comprehensive security software is essential, it does not automatically mean you are covered against all potential threats. In fact, the cause of your next cybersecurity threat might come from inside your organization.

Understanding an Insider Cybersecurity Threat

As Proofpoint describes, an insider threat is caused when someone who is close to your organization misuses their authorized access to negatively impact the company. The amount of insider security threats has been on the rise in recent years, and now account for 25% of all successful cybersecurity attacks.

Who Are Insiders?

When you are looking to determine your risk of a successful insider threat it is first necessary to outline who an insider actually is. An insider could be any one of the following listed below:

  • An existing employee
  • A vendor
  • A contractor
  • A partner
  • An old employee

Why Do Insider Threats Occur?

Of course, the exact reasons as to why an insider threat occurs will differ slightly from business to business; however, there are some general reasons that can be applied to the majority of situations.

Some insider threats occur as a result of a malicious, intended attack. The aim of this attack could be to gain sensitive information, such as business finances or personal customer information. Alternatively, an insider might perform an attack to sabotage your business or to commit espionage.

Not all insider threats are a result of a malicious, intended motivation; in fact, many insider threats simply happen without the individual who caused them even realizing. Bad judgment, human error, malware, and phishing attacks can also result in a successful insider threat.

How Can You Prevent a Successful Insider Threat?

The effects of a successful insider threat can be very serious, so it is vital that you take the necessary steps to protect your organization. There are many ways that you can protect your business against the effects of a successful insider threat. Some of the ways that you can protect yourself include:

Limit access to sensitive information

Limiting the amount of staff who have access to sensitive information is vital for reducing the risk of a successful insider threat. It is also important that you have systems in place to control the access of past employees.

Protect privacy

You should anonymize user data to make sure that your customers – and by extension your business – are protected in the case of a successful insider threat.

Detect potential threats

You should always be on the lookout for potential insider threats so you are able to change your behavior and act accordingly.

Stay vigilant

You should set up systems that allow you to be alerted when a potential incident occurs so you are able to reduce risks by acting quickly.

Train staff

You should regularly train your staff regarding the best cybersecurity practices to ensure that they are informed, able to spot and avoid potential cyber-attacks and malware.

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