Insider Threat Prevention Starts with These Three Steps

Many organizations focus on insider threat detection and investigation, both of which are key to protecting data, files, and systems against costly incidents. But, it’s equally as important to employ the right insider threat prevention strategies to keep these types of incidents from happening in the first place.

Considering that 2 out of 3 insider threat incidents happen because of user mistakes, a combination of the right policy, proper enforcement, and real-time user education could help prevent insider threat incidents from occurring within your organization.

Here are three steps you can take to get started:

Step 1: Establish a Cybersecurity Policy

If you don’t have one already, a cybersecurity policy is the first step to ensuring employees fully understand which tools, applications, and websites are on or off-limits. This policy should also clearly outline the risks associated with using certain types of technology, so users have context into why certain decisions are being made.

In addition, it should cover account and online security best-practices, to mitigate risks from breaches caused by phishing or credential theft.

For example, if your organization prohibits the use of personal email on company equipment, explain why this policy is in place, so employees understand that a policy is meant as a protection, rather than a punishment or desire to be overly restrictive for no reason.

Step 2: Block Out-of-Policy User Activity

The right cybersecurity policies can only go so far, if they’re not properly and regularly enforced.

A user activity-based insider threat management software (like ObserveIT) can offer cybersecurity teams more visibility into what’s happening with users, so that out-of-policy user activity can easily be blocked.

For example, if your organization does not allow for the use of cloud storage apps to store or share files, you can block access to that tool locally, as well as the web access point. It is just one way that you can work to prevent insider threat incidents or stop them before they progress.

Step 3: Improve Cybersecurity Awareness

Providing in-the-moment coaching can increase employees’ cybersecurity awareness, before small actions evolve to become more impactful, costly mistakes. Using an insider threat management software with real-time user prompts like ObserveIT can provide policy reminders and warnings against the use of out-of-policy applications.

For example, if a user opens up an out-of-policy cloud storage app, a prompt could appear, notifying them that use of the app is not authorized. The alert could also provide examples of approved alternatives to that tool, as well as an acknowledgement checkbox that asks the user to indicate that they understand that their action was inappropriate. In the event that this user proceeds anyway, the cybersecurity team would be equipped with evidence that they were provided with documentation on the cybersecurity policy.

Key Takeaways

It can be tough to get users to adhere to your cybersecurity policy, so having the right tools in place, like ObserveIT’s insider threat management solution, can help you become more proactive about insider threat prevention. Start with these three steps to improve overall awareness of cybersecurity best-practices throughout the organization, keeping users from becoming unintentional insider threats.


Interested in learning more about ObserveIT? Why not take it for a free test drive?

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