Of all the IT security threats companies face, insider attacks may be the most dangerous. Here are some ways to protect your business’s data.
Insider threats come in a few different flavors, such as disgruntled current or former employees, people who use their access credentials to sell sensitive data to criminals, and employees that are unwittingly used to gain access to systems (for example, when social engineering tactics are used to obtain passwords).
Taking these steps can help keep your company’s IT systems safe from those dangers:
- Remove access when employees are terminated – IT must be in close communication with other departments so that you’re made aware when someone leaves the company. Once people are no longer employed, you should immediately disable their accounts and privileges. Otherwise, the person could continue to access your network to wreak havoc or steal data.
- Enforce policies consistently – Some companies have policies in place to prevent unauthorized access to data. But failing to enforce those rules consistently could create a lax environment that convinces more employees that they can get away with violations.
- Conduct background checks in IT – One of the most dangerous types of insider threat: the malicious IT employee. Tech employees often have access to the entire network, so make sure the people you’re hiring are properly vetted.
- Don’t forget about service providers and outsourcing partners – Just as you shouldn’t hire someone to work in IT without a background check, you should also consider the potential for security threats when evaluating vendors, consultants and other outside parties that will have access to your data.
- Train employees – Warn people about the new ways cybercriminals are using employees to get access to their companies’ networks (read more here) so they know how to avoid falling victim.