March 14, 2023

The risk is coming from inside the house! How your own employees could be the biggest threat to your cyber security

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“The calls are coming from inside the house!” is a line we’ve all heard from the 1974 movie, Black Christmas. And, yes, a few dozen parodies since then. But according to a Microsoft Market Research report, it’s also true of 25% of all data breaches. That’s right: a quarter of all data breaches come from a company’s own inside employees. And it can take an average of 77 days to contain an insider cyber security incident.

It makes sense: your IT team spends a ton of time on firewalls, strong network passwords, constant virus scans, and other important resources to keep you secure. From. Outside. Threats. What can they do against threats coming from inside the house?

Here are the cyber security insider risks you need to be aware of and have a plan to address:

Unintentional data breaches

Not every cyber attack risk to your business is completely sinister. The most simple one you face can be as simple as an employee falling for a phishing scam. While your employee may not have intended to cause a data breach, phishing scams still account for nearly 22% of all data breaches (according to the FBI’s 2021 IC3 Report). Your IT teams need to ensure all employees go through regular training to ensure they can recognize and detect phishing scams without falling for them. Additionally, have a process set up where employees can promptly report phishing attempts.

Data breaches from departing employees

Your IT team needs tools to allow them to monitor and receive alerts for suspicious behavior related to your data. This is especially important when it comes to employees leaving the company, whether voluntarily or due to termination, as they have access to important company, customer, and user data. Even if you have strict policies and legal standards in place about how to deal with this proprietary data, you need effective tools to be able to see violations.

Angry employees causing security policy violations

A scenario you hope never happens, but could: a disgruntled employee upset about a poor performance review, a demotion, or just treatment they deem unacceptable could lead to someone acting with malicious intent and taking action they may not otherwise consider. You need to have systems in place, with established protocol and procedures your IT teams can take to ensure an upset employee cannot cause security breaches or data theft. Waiting until it happens is waiting too long. Take action now to prevent unwanted consequences from occurring.

Being proactive about inside cyber security threats is just as important as protecting yourself from outside hackers

There are a host of ways for your own employees to create data breaches – whether malicious or not. The three we covered are just the tip of the iceberg — which is why it is important your organization has the tools and processes in place to not only deal with outside threats, but inside threats, too.

Partner with wise security experts who can help

Not sure what processes or tools are best to keep your organization secured? FiberWave has a team of experts who can help you prepare for any security threat. Talk with us today — before it’s too late.