How Insider Threats Impact Your Business
Trust among your employees is crucial to operating a business and nothing is more terrifying than your business being left vulnerable by someone you trust. This is why insider threats are so catastrophic for ones business. It is worrying to think about your private data being lost because of the negligent or malicious act of an employee you trust. Read more to learn about how dangerous insider threats are to your business as well as how to foster an environment of trust in and out of the office.
First, it is important to reiterate what exactly an insider threat is. An insider threat is a breach or security incident caused by the malicious or negligent acts of a current or former employee. This could be a current employee clicking on a malware infested phishing email or a disgruntled, former employee exfiltrating data after they’ve been let go. Either way the consequences of such a threat can be fatal for the vitality of your business. In regards to finance, the average cost of an insider threat rose to roughly $11.5 million in 2019. This could be life or death for a small-mid sized business. In addition to the financial aspect of insider threats the lost personal and private data could result in the loss of reputation or even worse, legal trouble.
In addition to insider threats rising in volume they are also becoming more of a threat than before.. According to Fortinet, 56% of organizations believe that insider threats are becoming harder to stop due the the increased mitigation to the cloud. The work from home model also has something to do with making insider threats harder to detect. When employees are working from home they not only are introduced to a new world of threats on their home network, but are also not monitored nearly as much as they would be in the office. This makes intentional or unintentional threats harder to nail down.
For instance, in July 2020, hackers were able to steal login credentials from Twitter employees working from home. Through impersonation this group was able to convince employees to disclose account credentials so they could change the passwords of high profile accounts such as Joe Biden, Kanye West, and Elon Musk. In other instances insider threats were responsible for significant downtime and financial loss for small and large businesses alike.
So what exactly do insider threats seek to do? Other than disrupt business the ultimate goal of insider threats oftentimes is to obtain private or sensitive data. The most at risk types of data are customer data(62%), intellectual property(56%), and financial data(52%). At the end of the day the most desired data is that of your clients. It is your job as an organization to make sure your and your employees are trust worthy.
This begs the question: How can I prepare for an insider threat? There are multiple, practical ways your business can prepare itself for the potential of an insider threat. One way to decrease the chances of negligence is to make sure your employees undergo security awareness training. Understanding what a phishing email is and how to respond can aid in decreasing the chances of employees unwittingly giving access over to cyber criminals. Additionally, using privileged access management makes sure you know who is accessing what data. This type of management can aid in making sure the people you trust get access to the data they need while the people who don’t need it don’t have the chance to lose it. CIT can help train your humans and examine your biggest security risks through focused assessments that not only provide the problem, but the solution. Making sure your business is secure from the inside out is an important aspect of suitability in any business.
CorpInfoTech (Corporate Information Technologies) provides small to mid-market organizations with expert I.T. services including compliance assessment, cybersecurity penetration tests, and comprehensive business continuity planning services. Corporate Information Technologies can help organizations, quantify, create, refine, and mitigate the risks presented by business threatening disasters in whatever form they may be disguised.