Insider data theft occurs when a team member or associate of an organization has access to critical IT systems and data and uses their access to steal that information.
Studies have shown that up to 35 percent of all data breaches are caused intentionally by an insider.
You can defend your business against insider threats by following the suggestions listed below.
Establish a clear Data Protection Policy
It is extremely important that your entire workforce has read and understands your data protection policies. If you have not established any yet, this should be your first course of action.
Data protection policies should both explain the importance of the policy and clearly outline company expectations for employees.
It is essential that every employee both reviews the policies and also sign a document that acknowledges they reviewed and understood the data protection policies.
Implement Strict Password and Account Management Practices
Every system user in your organization should be required to enter a unique login ID and password in order to enter your systems.
It is important that employees are aware of the best practices for password and account management – these practices must be clearly communicated and consistently enforced.
No matter how wonderful your employees are, people make mistakes. It is important that you have the means to monitor employee activities when they access company systems or information. This will enable you to trust your employees without question.
Don’t forget About Privileged Access Management
Privileged Access Management refers to controlling and monitoring privileged user activities. Privileged users have high-level permissions and access to critical systems, usually for administrative purposes.
Many companies have made the mistake of placing too much trust in their administrators. Studies have shown that privileged users have been responsible for as much as 85 percent of data breaches that occurred in the last year.
This is typically not deliberate; most of the time it is an unintentional mistake, but that does not change the potential impact on the company.
If you are concerned about the security of your privileged users, you should consider a privileged access management security solution that can help you monitor and control the actions of your privileged users.
Provide a Simple Process for Employees to Report Suspicious Activities
It is important that your team has a way to report any suspicious activity related to data security. Other employees can be one of the best defenses you have against incidents of insider data theft.
Pay Attention to Departing Employees
An employee who is leaving the company, whether by choice or involuntarily, is the most common culprit of internal data theft. You can lessen the chance of this happening by ensuring that you have a plan for quickly removing access to sensitive data when an employee has been separated.
The threat of a data breach by an insider will continue to be an issue for every business.
The best defense against insider data theft is to enforce your security policies, monitor system access and activities, and establish a clear plan for addressing and preventing potential attacks.