Insider threats increasingly causing significant cyber risks2 min read


There are always going to be outside players – hackers, cybercrime groups and more – who are trying to destabilise your organisation or breach your business’s cybersecurity measures. These are credible threats that must be managed, lest your organisations face hefty consequences including fines, loss of business and loss of reputation. However, some of the biggest cyber risks don’t come from outside, but rather another often overlooked source – from within your company itself.

Insider threats can range from mistakes and negligence to outright pernicious activities. However, without taking into consideration the full gamut of potential insider threats, your cybersecurity stance will remain incomplete and inadequate.

Negligence and mistakes. While most organisations require their employees to undergo some amount of cybersecurity training, employees may forget cybersecurity best principles or find it bothersome to introduce best practices into their own work, such as using separate, strong passwords. This can lead to negligence and mistakes, which cyberattackers can capitalise on when attempting to hack into an organisation. Make sure to provide your staff with regular cybersecurity training to keep the information fresh and to help them understand the potential consequences of cyber negligence.

Phishing and other common cyberattacks. Phishing and ransomware scams have become increasingly common and often difficult to spot. However, training employees to be wary of links or suspicious emails is key to preventing damaging and costly ransomware attacks.

Vulnerable systems. Holes and bugs in your organisation’s architecture can constitute a major security threat, as these can be exploited by cybercriminals. These may take time and energy to fix, but it’s much better than leaving an open target into your organisation.

Disgruntled current or ex-employees. Of course, it’s also possible for an unhappy current or former employee to turn on their organisation and expose critical information. To prepare for these instances, ensure that your organisation has a strong access control management system, so if a specific system is compromised, it can be localised and contained.

A strong cybersecurity plan will never be able to 100% fully protect your organisation. However, ensuring that you have a strong cybersecurity plan in place will allow you to mitigate and manage various threats, ensuring that your company is cyber resilient.

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