Data theft is one of the most significant concerns for organizations, regardless of their size and domains. An e-commerce business is at as much risk as a government agency or an IT company. The worst part is that threats exist inside and outside the company. Insider threats are more challenging and frustrating because they come from the most trusted employees. Unfortunately, they are more likely to materialize as business owners do not take them seriously. But addressing the threats of data theft by your employees is crucial because they can have dire consequences. Here are some surefire defensive measures you can rely on.
Document and convey security policies
Documenting and enforcing data governance policies is the first step to limiting the risk of insider threats. Ensure that every employee knows these policies inside-out and include them in the orientation process and employee handbooks. Also, consider the privacy laws in your area while framing the policies to cover all fronts. It is crucial to convey a zero-tolerance approach to data theft so that employees do not fall for the temptation.
While you cannot do much about the bad elements in the company, the good thing is that every organization has honest and loyal employees. Such people are willing to go the extra mile to save the employer from risks and threats. Encourage whistleblowers and incentivize them to report suspicious user activity within the business network. Not all threats may be detected or stopped by security measures, but whistleblowers can have vital information for employers.
Track suspicions employees
Consider tracking suspicious employees, whether you have a hunch or get a tip from a whistleblower. You shouldn't ignore the slightest hints because timely detection of a malicious person can save your business from a data theft disaster. Set up a tracker on their work device. You may even hire an ethical hacker to set up cell phone hacking to dig deep into their activities. Once you have valid evidence, confront the person right away.
Implement security systems
Implementing security systems to protect your confidential data should be a priority. While firewalls and antivirus software prevent external attacks, preventing insider threats is even easier. Start by blocking system slots an employee may use to transfer data to external devices. Using screen recording software enables you to capture user activity and works as a deterrent.
Limit access to sensitive data
This one is a no-brainer because not everyone in the company should have access to the entire data on its systems. Allow role-based data access, and ensure that only trusted people can see, edit, and retain sensitive information they actually require to do their jobs. Ensure that employees do not download it on portable devices such as laptops, cell phones, and USB storage devices. Double your defenses if you allow BYOD permissions to employees.
Although insider threat is daunting for organizations, you need not do a lot to deal with it. Follow these tactics and use common sense to handle them and safeguard your data and reputation.