Security is always a major concern, no matter where your data currently exists. And consistent reports of high-profile attacks on brand name companies do little to appease fear.
While a lot of press covers how to protect data from external threats, it’s also important to remember that an even bigger challenge is protecting against insider threats. Insider threats are more than employees with weak passwords, or an angry employee with malicious intent. There are two pieces to the insider threat issue which all businesses need to address:
- Insider behavior
- System configurations
Insider threats reach beyond the employee population. They extend to anyone who may have had legitimate, inside access to the company’s networks at some point in the past. That can include employees, vendors, contractors, partners – anyone who was given a key to enter the system, no matter for what purpose.
We give access to different people for various reasons. But in all cases, it creates an opening, no matter how small, that didn’t exist before. It creates a tiny crack in the overall structure.
Imagine a building with hundreds of windows. One person opening one window just a crack may not impact the safety and security of the building and its contents. But what happens when another is opened? And another?
Each of these points causes a gap in the system. They are entry points that allow external factors to get in and impact the overall structure and security of the system. Even if at one point the external elements had every reason for having access to the system in the first place.
Any type of system breach, no matter how small it may be, can be a business’s worst nightmare. Yet it’s more common than most business owners believe. It takes just one ignorant employee leaving a door open to put your data and your company at risk.
Diligence is essential. Security isn’t a one-time thing; it’s a lifetime endeavor. Just when you have one area under control, another potential problem opens up.
Do you know where the biggest insider threats lie within your business environment?