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HomeResourceHow to Recognize Insider Threats and Prevent a Disaster

How to Recognize Insider Threats and Prevent a Disaster

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When we think about insider threats, the first thing that comes to mind is a disgruntled employee who wants to harm the company. However, many other types of insider threats can be just as damaging.

The risks are real. With the latest research stating that it takes between 77 – 85 days to contain an insider threat that costs businesses an average of $17 million a year, this is a danger you need to consider.

That’s why we’re discussing how to recognize insider threats and prevent a disaster from happening.

Understanding Potential Threats

There are three main types of insider threats: malicious, careless, and compromised.

Malicious insiders are those who deliberately want to harm the company. Outside sources could pay these people to intentionally leak information from your business, giving your competitors an edge or sabotaging your work.

Careless insiders are those who unintentionally put the company at risk. These could be someone who accidentally leaves a computer unlocked, uses an unsecured WiFi connection, or leaves themselves at risk of malicious individuals.

Compromised insiders are those whose accounts have been hacked and are being used without their knowledge. These are people who have unknowingly allowed a breach to happen.

You first need to understand the potential threats to prevent an insider threat. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What type of information is most valuable to your company?
  • Who has access to this information?
  • How is this information accessed and stored?
  • What are the potential risks if this information falls into the wrong hands?

Understanding potential threats

Once you understand the potential threats, you can start putting measures in place to prevent them, no matter what type of threat they fall under.

Implementing Security Measures

There are several security measures you can put in place to prevent insider threats. Here are a few of the most effective:

Access Control

Limit access to sensitive information to only those who need it. This way, even if someone’s account is compromised, you’re limiting the amount of data and knowledge they have access to and, therefore, how much data is potentially leaked.

Data Encryption

Encrypt all sensitive data, both in transit and at rest. This is vital for preventing insider threats because it stops attackers from being able to read the data even if they manage to get their hands on it.

Activity Monitoring

Monitor user activity to look for suspicious behavior. This can be done by logging user activity and monitoring for unusual patterns. You can set up automated services or solutions that can do this on your behalf or use a third party, like a Sydney IT services provider, who can monitor your business’s activity on your behalf.

Security Awareness Training

Make sure all employees are aware of security risks and how to spot suspicious behavior. This could include things like Phishing awareness training or data handling best practices. The more your staff are trained on what to look out for and how to protect themselves, the safer your business will be.

Remember, protecting your business starts and ends with the people working within it.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

2-Step authentication is a measure that requires two forms of authentication for all sensitive information. This could be a password, a security question, a fingerprint, and a passcode. This is one of the most popular security measures because it allows users to have a high level of security without making it too difficult to access the information, making this one of the best ways to prevent users’ data from being compromised.


Insider threats can be just as damaging as external threats, if not more so. That’s why it’s important to understand the different types of threats and how to protect your business from them. The more proactive you can be, the better.

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