10 Ways to Prevent Insider Threats

By Emily Pribanic - Last Updated on January 7, 2020
Ways to Prevent Insider Threats

It is essential that your company implements a system to prevent insider threats.

Insider threats could cost your company hundreds of thousands of dollars and hurt the trust you once felt with your employees. Don’t let your company’s sensitive information be stolen by an untrustworthy employee. Prevent any employees from misusing company data with a comprehensive security policy.

IT security is one of the most important aspects to monitor in your company. Since inside threats can do much more damage than outside threats, it is essential that your company develops a comprehensive system to protect against insider security threats. While most companies have adequate strategies in place to protect themselves against outside threats, many lack a system that protects the company’s assets against its own employees.

While many companies trust their employees, it is crucial to keep in mind that often, we are betrayed by the ones we trust most. If your company has yet to implement an insider threat prevention strategy, follow these ten steps to ensure that your company is protected inside and out.

Successful Ways to Prevent Insider Threats

#1 Security Policy

At the very least, the prevention of security threats should be laid out in a comprehensive security policy. One of the best ways to prevent insider threats is to include procedures in your security policy to prevent and detect misuse. Your policy should also include guidelines for conducting insider misuse investigations. Also, make sure your security policy spells out potential consequences of misuse.

#3 Physical Security

One of the best ways to prevent insider theft is to physically keep employees away from your critical infrastructure. Giving your employees a place to lock up their sensitive information and isolating high-value systems that require tight, verified access are excellent ways in how companies can reduce insider threats. Also, implement two-factor verification systems or even biometric authentication to verify employees are not using other employee’s key cards.

#3 Screen New Hires

Some companies may consider background checks to be too time consuming or expensive. Background checks, though, only cost between $50-$200 and could save your company a lot of hassle and theft in the future. It is also beneficial, when executing a background check on a new hire, that you use advanced systems that can verify the whole story about your new hire. Many background checks will not tell you if your new hire is living with a known con-artist or an angry ex-employee. Try using a service like NORA, non-obvious relationship awareness, to give you more information about who you’re letting near your sensitive company information.

#4 Use Multifactor Authentication

Many employees use weak passwords to access data and password-cracking technology has gotten very advanced, making it much easier than ever to break into an employee’s computer and access sensitive information. Try implementing strong, multifactor authentication measures to extremely sensitive applications within your company. This will make it much more difficult for an unauthorized user to access sensitive data.

#5 Secure Desktops

There are a few services you can use in your company that will lock down desktops across the entire organization. These services are very beneficial because you can’t depend on your employees to be as responsible as they should be for all their configurations. These services will also allow you to lock down certain parts of an employee’s computer apps to help you further prevent threats.

#6 Segment LANs

It can be very difficult to find the many choke points inside LANs so instead, segment LANs with firewalls which will create a zone of trust at all points that each LAN connects with the corporate LAN.

#7 Seal Information Leaks

Information can leak out from your company in many ways. Ensure that your security policy outlines what may not be shared. You can also use software that will scan your policy and alert you when employees violate this policy on your network. There is also software available that will scan the text of outgoing emails to ensure that your employees are not sharing company secrets.

#8 Investigate Unusual Activities

Many times, an employee betrays a company’s trust, they don’t expect to get cause because most companies are too busy looking for outside threats. For this reason, any time there is unusual activity happening on your company’s LAN, it is very beneficial for you to investigate. Keep in mind though, there are monitoring laws so make sure you familiarize yourself with these laws before you break any of them.

#9 Implement Perimeter Tools & Strategies

It would never make sense to not implement perimeter tools and strategies for servers on the public internet so why wouldn’t you take these same precautions with your internal server? Make sure you patch web and email servers and get rid of any unused services. Also, try locking down configurations to increase your security protocol.

#10 Monitor Misuse

Another beneficial tool is to monitor employees directly. Whether that’s with security cameras or keystroke logging, you can never be too safe with your company’s private information.

By implementing these insider threat detection techniques, you will make your company’s sensitive information more protected. A comprehensive security policy will also explain to employees why it is necessary to keep company information secure and any legal consequences that will come from any violation of this policy. If your company has yet to implement a security policy that covers inside and outside threats, your employees could be violating your trust and stealing highly sensitive information that could cost your company hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Emily Pribanic | Emily is a graduate of the University of North Texas. She has her B.A. in Advertising with a concentration in Copywriting. Emily has been writing since she was young and has a creative imagination. She lives in Dallas, Texas with her family and two cats.

Emily Pribanic | Emily is a graduate of the University of North Texas. She has her B.A. in Advertising with a concentration in Copywriting. Emily has been writing s...

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