How to Minimise Insider Cybersecurity Threats

When discussions about cybersecurity arise, organisations often direct their focus towards external threats, inadvertently neglecting the potential risks lurking within their own walls. Whether it’s an inadvertent mistake by an employee or a purposeful leak driven by malicious intent, insider threats demand equal attention to fortify a robust cybersecurity posture.

In a previous guide, we delve into the various types of insider threats that businesses should be vigilant about. In this article, we present key strategies to prevent and address these insider cybersecurity risks effectively.

1.Elevate Cybersecurity Awareness: While it’s likely that most individuals within your organisation possess a basic understanding of cybersecurity risks, the challenge lies in maintaining a high level of awareness. Cybersecurity should not be treated as a mere checkbox exercise but ingrained in the company’s culture. To achieve this, consider:

        • Regularly refreshing training materials and cybersecurity resources.
        • Enforcing cybersecurity rules consistently when violations occur.
        • Encouraging senior leaders to endorse and exemplify cybersecurity best practices.
        • Promoting an open-door policy for addressing cybersecurity-related queries.

        2. Identify Warning Signs: Recognising the signs of potential insider cybersecurity threats is crucial. Whether it’s a well-intentioned employee, a disgruntled former colleague, or someone with financial motives, watch out for:

        • Unintentional actions increasing cybersecurity risks, such as sharing files through personal cloud storage or emailing passwords.
        • Shifts in employee attitude, declining performance, or altered behaviour towards colleagues.
        • Indicators of financial motivations, like communicating with competitors, abrupt resignations, attempts to access or download secure files, or notable changes in personal finances.

        For a more detailed understanding of identifying insider security threats, refer to our comprehensive guide.

        3. Monitor File Access: Leverage secure cloud storage solutions, such as Microsoft 365, to track and monitor file access. This enables organisations to stay proactive in preventing potential cybersecurity breaches. Key indicators to watch for include:

        • Accessing files at unusual times, especially outside regular work hours.
        • Downloading substantial amounts of data onto personal devices, such as computers or USB sticks.
        • Unauthorised attempts to access files beyond designated privileges and permissions.

        4. Limit Access on a Need-to-Know Basis: Adopting a “trust no one” or “zero trust” approach is a highly effective strategy to minimize the risk of data breaches. This approach doesn’t imply hostility towards employees but involves significantly restricting access to sensitive files and data. Only provide permissions to individuals on a need-to-know basis and consider temporary access for specific tasks. This approach enhances overall security and safeguards critical files.

        For organisations seeking to strengthen their cybersecurity measures, we invite you to connect with us. Our experts can provide tailored insights and solutions to enhance your company’s resilience against insider cybersecurity threats.

        Preventing cybersecurity threats can be daunting for any business. At CNS IT Ltd we provide a fully-managed IT support and solutions to SMEs across North Wales, Cheshire and Wirral. Get in touch today to find out more.