Some IT managers are surprised to hear the greatest security threats your company will likely face come from the inside. While not all these actions are intentional, mitigating these risks is critical to the safety of your business and the information you possess. Often, this involves having the proper methods in place for the quick detection of cybersecurity threats, as well as processes to help lower the level of risk. With that in mind, here are some tips for reducing inside security threats.
Embrace Temporary Accounts
Not everyone who needs access to your systems is a permanent employee, so having an alternative to a traditional account is a wise move. For example, contractors, interns, or short-term workers can all be assigned to temporary accounts with an identified expiration date based on the length of their time with you. This ensures access is revoked automatically when that date passes or that an extension must be initiated if they stay with the company longer than expected.
If you have unused accounts on your system, you are increasing the level of risk. However, many businesses have insufficient processes in place to ensure that access is revoked when an employee leaves the organization, and that means some old accounts may still exist.
The easiest way to mitigate this risk is to conduct frequent audits to identify accounts that have not been used during a specified period, such as the past 12 weeks, and evaluate whether it should remain or be removed.
Create Thorough Employee Exit Procedures
Most of your workers won’t stay with the company forever, and ensuring their credentials are revoked upon their exit is essential for security, especially for those who were terminated. Create strong policies and procedures that govern how these exits are handled, including when their account should be removed and who is responsible, and make sure they are followed to the letter. This limits the chance that an employee who has recently left can still access the system once they head out the door.
Identify Disgruntled Employees
Not everyone who is unhappy in their position leaves, and disgruntled employees may express their negativity toward the company by stealing data or damaging systems. While someone being displeased doesn’t mean they’ll act on their feelings, it is wise to monitor their activities more closely while you work to help improve their situation. Turning a dissatisfied worker into a happy one is a form of insider threat prevention in itself, so invest in their morale and see if things can’t turn around.
Create an Incident Response Team
Whether it consists of one employee or several, having a dedicated team that is responsible for responding to security incidents is crucial. These individuals will spearhead efforts for preventing, detecting, and addressing issues as they occur, as well as creating, maintaining, and using standard documented plans and processes based on the incident type. Establishing an official team centralizes your threat-related efforts, which can make managing issues simpler for everyone.
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