Educate users to reduce the Insider Threat
Many organisations focus almost entirely on the threat presented to their IT security from external attack, these risks do form a large part of the threat landscape overall however there is also conclusive evidence that supports the argument that a greater and often unseen risk exists from within the network and on the inside of your organisation.
Each and every computer device issued to an employee presents a data access point that could be compromised or misused maliciously or accidently in the theft or leakage of sensitive information. Additionally every user that has access to one of these devices needs to be educated to a point whereby they understand their role in helping to maintain a safe and secure computing environment by following IT security best practice and adhering to data protection policies.
There are three clear steps that need to be taken to start the process of providing and maintaining a safe computing environment;
Raise Awareness; provide regular training and awareness sessions focussed on highlighting the issues presented by cyber-crime and IT security issues. Use real life examples of events that have been reported in the press and explain not only how they occurred and how to prevent them but also how a similar situation would affect your company in terms of financial impact, damage to reputation and any consequential risk to job security.
Define Responsibility; It is important to clarify responsibilities with your computer workforce and set expectations on how the organisation expects them to follow IT security and information security rules and policies. Many businesses now have specific sections of their employment contracts dedicated to what is classed as “acceptable use” of a computer device and state clearly that the employee is expected to adhere to these guidelines at all times.
Trust & Validate; One of the most effective methods to educate users that they are violating policies is to provide evidence of the specific action. This approach is extremely important for organisations who do not want to block particular computer related activities because it can interfere with an employees everyday tasks and is often seen as a reduction in trust by the employer. By deploying a User Activity Monitoring (UAM) solution it is possible to monitor each and every action made on a computer device and then compare against a set of rules and polices to identify potentially harmful activity, this can then be followed up with an automated alert to notify not only IT or management but also the violating staff member with a message saying that the action is not recommended.