While most people worry about threats from hackers trying to breach their security from the outside, it’s just as, if not more, important to also protect against insider threats as they can have disastrous effects on every facet of your company. While the danger of having an employee start acting maliciously towards the company is a very real risk, it is still one that can be prevented when the right precautions are put into place.
1. Screen Potential New Employees
One of the best ways to prevent insider threats from affecting your company is by stopping them before they even have the chance to occur. This means heavily screening any potential new hires before they are brought on so as to help weed out any potential malicious actors.
If your company doesn’t have the resources to do extensive background checks, then it’s worth it to look into third-party companies. While the cost of such a background check might be a deterring factor, it ends up paying for itself hundreds of times over considering the fact that insider threats could potentially end up costing your company hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on what they’re able to get their hands on. Not to mention, if said inside attacker gained access to data such as customer information, then it could severely harm the company’s public image. It’s better to do what you can to stop any of this from occurring in the first place.
2. Use Temporary Accounts
If your company makes use of third-party employees such as contract workers, then it’s important to use temporary accounts for all of them. Not only can outside hackers potentially gain access to old accounts, but former contractors may decide to use their old account maliciously long after their work with the company has ended.
In general, you will want to make sure that these temporary accounts are scheduled to be deleted automatically at the end of the contract, that way you limit the chance of having any old accounts still laying around.
3. Use Employee Monitoring Software
It is considerably easier to detect and prevent insider attacks when you monitor your employees at all times when they’re on the clock. Luckily, this is made easy by using employee monitoring software.
Having employee monitoring software installed on all of your employees’ work devices allows you the ability to track a plethora of information regarding your employees and their daily habits. You can keep track of what websites they go to, what software they’re using, what data they’re accessing, who they’re emailing, and much more. With all of this information on hand, it’s much easier to detect when an employee has become an insider threat as you can point out a pattern of change in their behavior.
On top of all of this, most employee monitoring software will give you the ability to set up alerts to let you know when an employee accesses something that they shouldn’t. These alerts are not only good for protecting your company from insider threats, but also for letting you know if an employee accesses this data by accident.
4. Divide LANs Into Separate Sections
Trying to cover all of your bases over one massive LAN can be incredibly difficult. In any relatively large company, the LAN is going to be exceptionally hectic and trying to monitor the traffic flow effectively can be rather difficult in such a situation, especially if you wish to do any deep packet inspection. This is why segmenting your LAN into separate divisions can be incredibly useful for safeguarding your network as a whole.
Once you have segmented your LANs, you will want to treat each of them as their own partitioned division. This means they each of their own zones of trust as well as a firewall at each point where they are connected so that the connection between each LAN is effectively treated like one coming from the outside.
With each LAN segment acting as its own secure enclave, you can more easily defend against potential insider threats by effortlessly monitoring your company’s backbone network as well as give yourself more tools to stop an attack in progress.
5. Teach Your Employees About Insider Threats
Few things help reduce the threat of insider attacks more than educating your employees about the attacks themselves. A big reason for this is because not all insider attacks happen as a result of an employee going rogue. Often times, this occurs because an employee fell victim to a spear phishing attempt and had their company account compromised. In this kind of scenario, it would have been helpful for the employee to know about such attacks so that they could avoid them.
Not only will educating your employees help prevent them from having their accounts compromised, but it will also help them spot insider threats for themselves. Perhaps they notice that one of their coworkers has been behaving suspiciously. If they know what to look out for, then they can alert the company’s security team.