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Where is the biggest security threat to your business?

Did you know that the biggest security threat to your business can come from the inside? In fact, they may even be on your payroll! This article will explore where your biggest security threat is hiding, as well as how to prevent these insider attacks from happening.

biggest security threat to your business

What are the three types of insider attacks?

Insider security attacks often cause the most damage to an organisation. Your insider is armed with thorough knowledge of network layouts, applications, staff, and business practices. However, not all internal attacks are malicious. The first type of insider attack is an accidental one, done through negligence. Employees can accidentally create threats through simple mistakes and lack of cyber security training, also known as insider negligence.

The second type of attack is more malevolent. There can be people in your industry that are malicious and know the weaknesses of your security. The incentive behind these malicious employees could be anything. However, it is normally fuelled by the greed and desire for financial gain or even revenge over a disagreement that has led to the employee’s dismissal.

Lastly, there are cases where your business could experience imposter theft. Imposter theft is the most damaging form of insider attack to recover from, the cost of an imposter theft can average £620,000 or more PER INCIDENT! That is a 95.6% difference from the cost of a negligent insider attack which averages at £219,000. Even a malicious insider attack has a 14% difference, which averages a cost of £539,000. Imposter theft is where someone gains access to your credentials and sensitive data to access your business’s most delicate information.

IBM recently carried out a study over 204 organisations in the United States. This study saw 4,176 insider attacks over 12 months. 64% of these attacks were due to insider negligence, 23% were due to malicious insiders and 14% were related to imposter theft.

How can you prevent an insider attack?

So, what can you, as a business owner, do to prevent these insider attacks? Below are our five key strategies to secure and protect your business from potential threats.

1. Training

Training your team is one of the most important steps to keeping your company safe from negligent insider attacks. Training your staff won’t stop a malicious insider. However, it certainly helps to prevent an inadvertent security breach from someone who wouldn’t recognise the signs of a phishing email or dangerous attachment.

Training can also provide them with the knowledge they need to recognise when someone else is doing something dubious so that they can report it.

Cyber security training shouldn’t be a one-off practice. Cyber-attacks are becoming incredibly sophisticated, and these criminals will take advantage of any situation. It is important to revisit cyber security training multiple times during the year.

2. Restrict Access

Is it possible for everyone on your team to see everything in your database? Is it just available to those who require it?

The greater the number of people who have access to a file, the more probable it is that it may be compromised. To avoid this, limit file access to just those who need it. Make sure all documents are secured and consider password protection for the most sensitive information that you don’t want to be breached.

3. Implement Strong Authentication

An attacker’s work is made considerably easier when they have access to valid credentials. It’s no longer enough to have a simple user ID and password combination. Consider using multi-factor authentication (MFA), which allows you to make a one-time log in using a secondary device. Also consider incorporating biometrics into your fingerprint scanners and other devices.

4. Has anyone left recently?

The Global Data Risk Report states that 50% of user accounts are stale or inactive. Some malicious threats come from employees who are due to leave the business. If you haven’t already, consider making a protocol for anyone leaving the company.

Some of these procedures can be from requesting leaving employees to return company devices and remove their access to accounts. It is incredibly important to remove these accounts from your database once these employees have left the workplace.

5. Communication is key

Just think about how big an impact an attack like this could have on your business and reputation. Regardless of how loyal you think you and your team are, it would be naïve to consider your team experts on cyber security. Ensure that you are regularly communicating with your employees the importance of keeping data safe and secure.

Most importantly, you must also tell your employees the reasons why you’re doing what you are doing. An employee who doesn’t understand why they are being asked to use multi-factor authentication or undergo cyber security training is a huge security risk.

biggest security threat to your business

Need help protecting your business from insider attacks?

This is where we can help at ACU IT. We can suggest lots of ways to change and protect your business from insider security threats. This allows you to get back to focusing on your team and making sure they’re fully equipped to do the job you need them to without the threat of having your data stolen.

Do you want more information about how we can help you protect your company? ACU IT can help by creating a personalised strategy for your business. Get in touch today.

The biggest security threat to your business is on your payroll

For more information on insider attacks, download our comprehensible PDF full of even more information and tips for you to follow

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