Is Employee Education the Key to Preventing Inside Threats in Business?

The concept of insider threats in business can be an upsetting topic to think about, but it is nonetheless imperative at a time when data protection issues can lead to some monumentally expensive lawsuits.

A successful insider attack can cripple a company financially and reputationally, so taking steps to reduce the risk is imperative for any diligent business owner.

Admittedly, it can be extremely difficult to account for a seemingly random act of theft or mishandling of company assets, especially from an employee that might not appear to have any incentive.

However, there are some great preemptive techniques and methods to put in place, and most of them can be implemented fairly easily.

Perhaps one of the most useful of these techniques is educating your employees. So here are some important points you might want to think about.

Education Empowers

Meaningful progression of any kind, in the business arena or outside of it, starts with education.

Education empowers people, supplies them with the tools they need to thrive, and opens their minds to new possibilities and a world of innovation.

If your employees feel you are helping them progress, they might be less likely to become disillusioned with the organization and walk down a grim path.

Moreover, education can supply them with responsibility, a weight that can enable people to flourish and set an example for others when acknowledged.

Reducing Human Error

Sometimes, insider threats do not necessarily manifest as a result of malicious intent. In fact, if an employee is poorly trained, it might be pointless blaming them for a loss of data or a similar, damaging human error.

Reducing human error means raising awareness, which could pertain to an increase in cyber security hygiene. Five extremely important cyber security skills to teach your staff include:

  1. How to recognize a phishing email.
  2. How to create a strong, randomly generated password and change it regularly.
  3. When to Report suspicious network activity.
  4. How to be safe online.
  5. How to handle sensitive data, and what the consequences of failing to do so can look like.

This list is not exhaustive, but it can provide a framework for you to work from. By emphasizing the consequences of poor cyber hygiene, you can make a strong case for the importance of education in the workplace.

Creating a Culture of Safety

Although negligence, unconfident network users, and general human error make up a large portion of inside threat potential, malicious intent does occur in business and needs to be detected and dealt with to remain sustainable. 

If you suspect that an employee is siphoning data from your network, or you simply wish to make your infrastructure as secure as possible, it is probably worth clicking here to take a look at some superb insider threat software.

Another good way to ensure that your employees can spot any offenders is by promoting a culture of safety in the workplace, one that thrives on transparency and exposes malevolent actors.

Again, this starts with education. Whether you opt to go for your own in-house training or outsource to some cyber security specialists, creating a working environment of safety is not only good for rooting out inside threats, but it generally helps employees feel empowered.

Ensure Your Policies are Recognized

If employees have no idea about company policy or what the values that your brand stands for happen to be, it is hard to blame them for putting a foot out of line.

If you do not have a cyber security policy, it is worth writing one, as this can help enlighten employees on what is expected of them in the first place.

Instilling Confidence

For your workforce to thrive and reach the heights of competence required for innovation, they will likely need confidence to support them.

Whether or not you have confidence in them is entirely different but building self-confidence can be done through education.

Instilling confidence in your employees is a great way to reduce human error, such as mishandling high-value digital assets.

For example, if an employee is not tech-savvy yet is being made to operate an unfamiliar platform, they might make mistakes or neglect to follow the right protocol when moving valuable data, thus jeopardizing safety precautions.

By ensuring that all of your employees are on the same page and know how to operate the network properly, you can hopefully reduce the risk of threat substantially.

Final Points to Ponder On.

Before you get going, there are some practical points worth thinking about, such as:

  • The cost of training – the ROI can be immense but prove to be a large initial sum.
  • Your vetting process – If you are hiring the wrong candidates, you may need to revisit your process.
  • The Timescale – Training an entire workforce can be difficult, costly, and time-consuming, so it may be worth thinking about implementing an automated onboarding platform to help speed this up.

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