The majority of data breaches originate outside the affected organization. However, an alarmingly large minority of these cases come from inside the organization itself. Whether done on purpose or purely by accident, these attacks can have devastating consequences.
Security services, antiviruses, and employees-only access work wonders in preventing external sources from accessing your sensitive data. Unfortunately, blocking internal threats can be a bit more complicated. You can’t install a firewall to block your employees from the system, after all–they need it to work! What options are left?
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Potential Internal Threats
Every company must deal with three potential sources of data breaches from inside:
- Ex-employees: former employees of the company that may want to sell data to a competitor, enact revenge for being fired or laid off, or to simply mess with the company. This can also include people who unknowingly still have access to their work accounts, leaving those accounts as vulnerable to hacking as any personal ones.
- Unknowing employees: current employees who aren’t properly educated in online security. They may fall for social engineering attacks, trust phishing emails, lose flash drives with private data, or otherwise expose data to unauthorized parties.
- Double agent employees: current employees who may be planted by a competitor or simply disgruntled with their job and seeking revenge of some sort before they leave. They likely want to cause as much trouble as possible to the company and may stand to profit personally from the data breach.
Pro Tip: Do your former employees still have access to their work accounts? If so, those accounts are vulnerable to hacking even if the former employee is completely unaware that they still have access.
Protections Against Internal Attacks
Preventing internal data breaches is nearly impossible for most employers. However, you can work to reduce your risk by keeping your employees educated on proper safety procedures. Make sure unknowing employees are fully aware of how to stay safe online, and make it clear to everyone that intentional data theft will not be tolerated.
At the end of the day, your best bet to respond to an internal data breach is to focus on minimizing the damage. Partner with a reliable technology firm to tighten your current information security and formulate quick responses to theft.
Dealing with Internal Threats
Unfortunately, protecting your data from internal attacks isn’t as simple as blocking access to it. Your employees need much of that data to do their jobs properly! The best strategy is to simply be proactive in your security habits. Hire people you can trust, make company policies on data privacy very clear, and provide the means to help your employees keep their own information private.
Join the conversation to see how other business owners dealt with security breaches from within.