The Hidden Threat: Insider Threat in the Digital Era
Most organizations tend to focus on the external dangers to their data and systems, such as malware, hackers, etc. Insider insecurity is often underestimated; This relates to the dangers and vulnerabilities posed by employees who, knowingly or unknowingly, violate a company’s digital security. In this article, we explore ways to reduce this frequently underestimated risk.
Insider insecurity encompasses insiders with malicious intent, careless insiders who might handle data carelessly, and contractors who disregard security procedures. The negative effects are substantial, resulting in financial loss, damaged reputations, legal issues, and data loss that necessitates intensive recovery efforts.
Given the potential repercussions, organizations through HR professionals can assist in mitigating insider threats in the following ways:
- Conducting Background checks: Conducting criminal background checks and verifying the professional experience that a potential employee will bring to the organization.
- Contractual Agreement: Ensure that a confidentiality clause is included in the contract.
- Sensitization training: The HR department could organize mandatory training on Data Security. The training should also include a discussion of the disciplinary actions to be taken if the confidentiality agreement is violated.
- Grievance Handling: Disgruntled employees might pose a security risk by sharing confidential data, especially since most firms have a Social Media presence. As a result, having a grievance-handling mechanism in place is critical to ensuring that every grievance is handled effectively.
- Disciplinary Action: Whenever an employee misuses company data, disciplinary action should be taken. This will deter others from engaging in the same behaviour.
- Ensuring that Separations are handled well/properly: Ensuring that separations are carried out in accordance with the provisions of the law. Employees leaving the organization should be paid in full and handled with dignity. Employees who believe they were mistreated during the separation time may become dissatisfied and, as a result, leak information, harming the company’s image.
- Promoting a healthy working environment: A healthy work environment with a culture that promotes open communication and equitable treatment of all employees can increase employees’ commitment to the organization, minimizing the danger of insider threat.
To guarantee successful implementation, all initiatives to mitigate the risk of insider threat must be policy driven. Since HR department is the custodian of an organzation’s policies, it must ensure that policies are in place to support the implementation of all HR strategies.