4 Ways to Prevent Insider Attacks
July 2, 2015
Can you imagine what’s going through an employee’s head after firing them? What if this employee is in a position to have confidential access to customer information files, product files, and any documents with valuable intellectual property?
Even if an employee proved their loyalty and good character in the past, there is always the potential for an out-of-character moment inspired by anger. We all lose our composure at times.
Almost 1 out of 4 data breaches stem from inside jobs. These breaches are not due to employee error, but criminal action. According to past research, “44 percent of data breaches include Intellectual Property (IP), business plans, technology and product designs, and other internal organizational information” from such attacks.
What are the ways you can prevent backlash from a recently fired or disruptive employee who could cause significant damage to a company from the inside?
1. Establish and enforce a strict and clear security policy
Prevention starts at the beginning.
Do not allow employees to transfer corporate content with USB devices and if you do, only permit it with corporate managed devices.
Make all employees aware of security policies and enforce regulations when people violate them. If you want to change corporate culture when it comes to security, then enforcing simple rules are a necessity.
If people use workstations for nonwork activities, when explicity told not to do so, carry out specified violations. When they transfer corporate content to cloud services not managed by the IT staff, make them accountable for their actions.
These are only examples, but employees need to know and have respect for security policies.
2. Accompany a discharged employee at all times
Do not allow a recently fired employee to clean out their office alone. It takes minutes to plug a USB into a computer, extract documents, or implant malware on a desktop. Who knows what paper files or other things they can steal. This is why it is of uptmost importance to have a procedure and personel designated to manage the process.
3. Perform Backups
In the event an employee steals property, then backups prove ownership when IP is not yet patented or copyrighted. The IT staff must establish good backup policies and habits to ensure company information remains confidential and documented at all times.
4. Control Permissions
Once an employee is let go, immediately change user permissions and negate access to email, workstations, the physical office, and anything else work related. Before setting up email for the employee when they first start, administrators should have notifications in place to alert them whenever an employee logins to email or other software from a new device or IP address.