Business owners spend some much time trying to guard against outside threats to their data that they forget all about insider security threats & data breaches. Unfortunately, insider data breaches are a lot more common than you may think.
Over 58 percent of the data breaches in the healthcare industry are perpetrated by insiders. Regardless of what industry you operate in, putting the right safeguards in place to prevent this type of theft from happening is a must.
Read below to find out more about what you can do to minimize insider data security threats.
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Data Masking Can Keep Your Business Protected
You have probably heard the term “data masking” thrown around quite a bit, but you may not know what this practice entails. In short, data masking is a method used to create structurally similar versions of your company’s important data. Generally, this mock data is used for things like user training or software testing.
The main purpose behind data masking is to protect your actual data while allowing similar data to be used for various tasks.
According to Boris Tamarkin, the Co-Founder & CEO of DataSunrise, a company that offers comprehensive data masking services:
“Investing in data masking gives you the peace of mind that your company’s sensitive information is safe. With this peace of mind, you can shift your focus to running other vital parts of your business.”
Properly protecting your company’s sensitive information will help you avoid data hacks and the fallout that can occur following one of these cyber-attacks.
Use Temporary Accounts for Interns or Contractors
Allowing contractors or interns to have unfettered access to your business data is a bad idea. Often times, you will have to grant some access to these parties so they can complete certain tasks. Rather than creating accounts that will be around well after the job is finished, you need to work on creating temporary accounts.
With the assistance of a cyber-security professional, you can set up accounts that expire on a certain date. When creating these accounts, be sure to think about what permissions they will be allowed to have. Ideally, you will only want to grant access to data that is related to the job a contractor or intern will be working on.
Putting these types of safeguards in place can help you avoid insider security threats with ease.
Follow Through with the Employee Termination Guidelines You Have in Place
Firing an employee can be a very difficult experience for a business owner. Having a set of guidelines to follow after an employee has been terminated is vital.
These guidelines should include removing the access a recently terminated employee has to your network and data. If a recently terminated employee has a user account on your business network, it needs to be disabled immediately.
Many of the insider data hacks that occur each year are initiated by disgruntled former employees. By disabling a former employee’s user account, you can reduce the chance of these type of attacks occurring.
Data Encryption is Essential
Properly encrypting your data, whether it is in motion or at rest is also crucial when trying to prevent insider security threats. If your data is properly encrypted, it will be useless to someone who has attempted to capture network traffic or steal a hard drive on your server.
There are a number of software programs on the market that can help you encrypt data. Before choosing a program, be sure to find out how easy it is to use and how effective it is.
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Establish a Comprehensive Acceptable Use Policy
Letting your employees know what is considered acceptable use of your company’s data is also something you need to view as a priority. Letting employees know that you reserve the right to monitor all activity on your network is vital.
Not only will this act as a deterrent, but it will also let employees know just how serious you are about data security. When developing this policy, you need to clearly define what actions will be taken if employees are found using company data inappropriately.
Always Be Vigilant
As previously mentioned, most insider data hacks are perpetrated by disgruntled current and former employees. Keeping your eyes and ears open will help you catch wind of rumors of an unhappy employee. Closely monitoring these employees may help you catch data abuse before it causes a lot of damage.
The key to protecting your company’s data is working with the right cyber-security professionals. Attempting to implement data masking programs or setting up temporary network accounts alone can lead to big mistakes being made.