If you have noticed suspicious things happening within your business, you might begin to feel a little bit confused. The truth is you might be dealing with one of the biggest cyber threats of all. An insider threat.
What is an insider threat?
An insider threat is something that can make your business crumble from the inside, like termites in a wooden house. It can be unpredictable, sudden, and unnoticeable until your business is falling down around you, as described here on the Proofpoint website. It might be an employee that you have just taken on recently, or it might even be one that you have had for a while who you trust but may have been approached by someone outside of the business or had a dangerous change of heart.
Alternatively, it might be someone who isn’t doing their job properly, or it might be someone who is having stress piled on their shoulders from work and their home life. It can be anyone, which is exactly what makes it so dangerous. It might not even be intentional, or you might be face-to-face with someone with a vendetta against you and your company.
What are the signs?
The signs are subtle, but they are there. Once the attacks happen, you might even be able to retrace steps and figure out that it was waving in your face from day one. Here are some of the signs:
#1 Suspicious emails
Suspicious emails, or messages of any kind, really can be a major red flag. This can be an attempt from the perpetrator to get information about the business, such as passwords or access permission. This can be one of the signs that someone might have malicious intent within your business.
#2 Jobs being completed to the bare minimum
Essential jobs being completed to the bare minimum, or not at all, might be a sign of a negligent employee. This really doesn’t even have to be a part of their job. It can be not locking up the office after work hours, breaking or consistently damaging business property such as their laptop, or even being rude or discriminatory to other employees who are just trying their best and bringing down the morale around them.
How does a business prevent this?
This is the annoying thing about insider threats. You can’t prevent them. You just need to keep a sharp eye and make sure that if you see someone slipping, you make sure that they are alright. A lot of the time, employees don’t realize they are being negligent. As mentioned above, they might have other things, such as family, that are causing them stress outside of the workplace. This means that they might not be getting enough sleep, with the knock-on effect that they are more likely to make mistakes.
You need to make sure that your employees communicate with you, and you need to make sure that you, in turn, are providing them with good quality HR representation to make sure that they have the help they need available to them.