Top Security Risks and Disgruntled Employees Every Business Owner Ought To Know
Every serious employer takes great care when hiring new employees. They look for talent, ambitions, and qualities that will drive the business to success. One major thing that you may overlook when strategizing is how your employees will react to any unfortunate occurrences in the workplace.
The biggest security threat that is consistent is employees. They have full access to your business systems, and anyone with ill intentions can cause a data breach and bring the company to its knees. There are real-life examples of such occurrences where employees caused data breaches while working or after leaving their respective companies.
AppleInsider reports how a disgruntled employee revealed confidential information on new features and hardware of the iOS 11 GM. Also, Georgia-Pacific Mill Hack landed Brian P. Johnson 34 months in federal prison and a fine of $1,134,828 after hacking his former employer. Other top businesses that have made headlines from insider threats in recent years include Tesla, Waymo, Shopify, Coca-Cola, Morrisons, and Punjab National Bank.
These examples show the scope of security risks brought about by disgruntled employees. Let’s get into the details and see how businesses can avoid such risks from materializing.
Disgruntled Employees Can Impact the Workplace
There is no way to avoid employment issues altogether. Even a perfect workplace will have problems and lead to disagreement at some point in time. Dealing with disgruntled employees is one of the most challenging tasks for managers and employers. They need to have a plan to ensure they mitigate the risks posed to the company.
Disgruntled employees pose security threats to:
- Creating a hostile working environment for other employees
- Instigate legal issues through complaints that can cripple business processes
- Are a security threat to business network systems
How Do They Become Security Threats?
Reports show that disgruntled employees pose considerable risk to the company. There is an increasing risk in security from insider threats, and employees cause about 30% of data breaches. These can occur and may be due to negligence or on purpose.
It usually happens because every employee can access your company’s systems even after they leave. Without taking precautionary measures to handle their accounts, they can still get information and hold company operations. Another recent study shows:
- About 90% of employees could access their former companies’ applications, such as Facebook, even after leaving employment.
- 68% of employees could still log in to their company email accounts and store company data without restrictions.
This is very dangerous when dealing with highly sensitive information. Any employee with a vendetta can use this opportunity against their former employers. Take an example of this case where one former employee downloaded data and all the intellectual property of their former employee, causing $425,000 in damages.
Types of Insider Threats to Look Out For
Most insider threats are not malicious except for disgruntled employees who are up for revenge. Here are the typical types of insider threats caused by your employees that you need to avoid.
These are your current employees who misuse confidential information to generate more income through external collusion, fraud, or selling trade secrets to competitors. Most cybercriminals target such employees to get their credentials and hack into the company system.
These are current employees or former employees who are not happy with some company activities or processes. It may be a rise in pay or misunderstandings between them and employers. They can steal intellectual property or intentionally sabotage the company, leading to costly threats to the organization.
They are good employees who have no ill intentions. Their weakness lies in their inability to carry out processes as required. They exhibit a secure and complaint nature but make occasional errors and don’t realize their mistakes until a data breach occurs.
You may have employees who are continuously unresponsive to change. Cybersecurity threats and strategies keep changing. If your employees avoid updating their solutions, they are a security threat since they create gaps for easy infiltrations of scams.
What Can Your Organization Do?
There are many examples of employee errors, negligence, or ill intent that you need to avoid. Insider attacks can occur at any endpoint; applications, cloud infrastructure, mobile devices, databases, and networks. Here is what you can keep safe from these threats.
- Provide contact training: Even with training in place, the depth and breadth of the content covered may not be enough to drive behavioral change. It would be best to amp up your training and offer it constantly so that your employees can avoid any acts that can lead to security threats. You can set up mandatory training for everyone to participate and learn how to keep the company safe.
- Priorities cybersecurity: Working on the clouds requires robust security to keep you safe from hackers. Therefore, it is essential to focus on your security network, applications, systems, and business devices. Ensure the physical premise has enough security by developing incident response processes and security protocols that every employee should follow.
- Update your software: There are various industry trends and compliance that you need to see. Regular updates ensure you have the best security measures to curb any security risks. Keep all your applications updated to stay abreast of the cybersecurity processes.
- Partner with an IT security expert: Working with in-house IT experts during data breaches is cumbersome. By working with experts, you get the best resources to protect your systems from data breaches. The experts will also constantly audit your network security to ensure safety is at the maximum.
Managed Detection and Response
Your company requires 24/7 security monitoring to predict, prevent, and respond to insider threats in real-time. There are also malicious activities that require costly equipment and software to use.
You can get a cost-effective solution at tech42 LLC to enjoy working with experienced security professionals who use the latest endpoints to identify, contain, and shut down attacks. Our cyber offensive team hunts and responds to threats across the cloud, on-premise, hybrid, or virtual environments to offer a robust security system. Contact us today, to learn more about how we can protect our business.
Michael is the President and owner of tech42 LLC. He has more than 20 years of cross-discipline experience in the information technology industry, and has worked both as a network engineer and software developer. He is a passionate student of the interaction between technology and business and leveraging that knowledge to help tech42’s clients achieve both technology and business success.