Insider Threat Awareness Training

When many business owners hear “insider threat,” they think about the wrong thing. Our imaginations wander to corporate espionage and malicious actors. Because we know and trust our employees, that is often where the thinking stops. Even if your employees would never knowingly put your business at risk, they may still be a threat. Even worse is having employees who cannot recognize what an insider threat looks like. This makes them just as likely to put your business at risk.

The thing about insider threats is that you can’t eliminate them by installing new tools. Negligence is just as dangerous as malicious intent, and sometimes more so. So when training to mitigate insider threats, it pays to focus more on eliminating negligence. An attentive workforce will also help minimize malicious actors inside the company.

What Behaviors Constitute Internal Threats?

Some well-meaning employees make mistakes. Mistakes may be part of life, but most security mistakes are completely avoidable. For example, sensitive information should never be mailed out to the wrong person. Employees should also never fall for phishing sites or use work computers to visit potentially malicious websites. Unfortunately, some attitudes are also dangerous.

For example, say you have a policy that employees never reuse passwords. This is a good policy, as it limits the effective scope of a data breach. However, an employee might find it inconvenient and decide to ignore it. The disabling or bypassing of other “inconvenient” programs or features can also factor in. Weak passwords, installing foreign software, and using unsecured networks are all behaviors that can be avoided.

Why is Insider Threat Awareness Important?

The risks presented by insider threats are severe. After all, your employees have access to your most sensitive and important data. You could lose money, reputation, and even face liability if this information leaks. Furthermore, employees aware of cybersecurity standards can prevent problems far in advance. They can support your efforts by aiding in monitoring and oversight. Knowing what to look for and how it can affect the company tends to follow the rules more closely.

An engaged employee is more likely to be alert and responsible. They may even detect lapses in your security that can be further improved. By training your employees to recognize internal threats, they become security assets rather than liabilities.

How to Improve Insider Threat Awareness

One of the first things you should consider is that today’s threats will not be tomorrow’s threats. Therefore, this threat awareness training needs to be ongoing. Therefore you should document your scope, purpose, and desired outcomes. This will help you identify which methods to use for which groups in your organization.

To expand on our point about engaged employees, making the training fun can go a long way. A boring training course will get blown off. However, one that uses real-life examples, statistics, and an engaging review system will have far more success. Don’t get too bogged down in testing, though. A far more engaging and useful method to test your program is to conduct mock attacks.

Sending phishing emails or running penetration tests will help you identify which employees are absorbing the material. If you’d like to start your insider threat training, visit our website and contact us today. Arruda Group can help develop a savvy, threat-aware culture in your workplace.