Your workforce is your greatest asset for mitigating insider threat risk in your organization. Training, equipping, and reinforcing an insider threat risk framework across your enterprise will best posture your organization to prevent, detect, and respond to a suspected insider incident.
Here are three approaches to harvesting the defensive capital of your workforce to help decrease insider threat risk:
Train your workforce to identify insider threat risk situations and behaviors. Regularly train your workforce to identify behaviors that have been associated with insider threat incidents. Your employees should understand that they could be targeted by an adversary, such as a nation state, to provide sensitive corporate information. Provide your workforce clear examples of what those scenarios would look like. In addition, foster a corporate culture of security where your employees accept ownership for their responsibility to help protect enterprise critical assets, sustain mission performance, and guard brand reputation. New employees should receive this training with iterative on technical and physical insider threat attack methods.
Equip your workforce with the proper tools to report a suspected inside threat. After ensuring that your workforce can properly identify the signs of a legitimate insider threat scenario, equip them to report a suspected insider incident. Establish a hotline or email channel for employees to report suspected incidents or set up an insider threat program in your organization for your workforce to report suspicious behavior. Communicate the reporting channels to your workforce with soft and hard copy materials, training sessions, and verbal reminders. It is critical that your workforce understand that their insights and concerns will be taken seriously and properly handled by the leadership team in a discreet manner.
Reinforce insider threat training principles and reporting procedures by providing opportunities for your workforce to practice identifying, managing, and mitigating an insider threat scenario. Your senior leadership team can learn a great deal from a well-planned insider threat tabletop exercise if they have not had an opportunity to respond to a security incident or are relatively new to their roles. Running a realistic exercise with the right stakeholders and documenting lessons learned can go a long way in helping your team respond to an actual insider incident when the time comes.
Organizations that promote a corporate culture of security and foster enterprise-wide ownership for witting and unwitting insider risks are better postured to minimize impacts from an insider incident to business operations.
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Crystal applies her unique background as a former counterintelligence and cyber threats officer in the US Intelligence Community to help organizations identify and prioritize strategic insider and digital risk mitigations. During her Intelligence Community career, she supervised digital media exploitation and analytic production supporting US foreign policy, national security, and sensitive operations. She also led a counterintelligence analysis and targeting team mitigating insider threat risk to high-priority operations that became an enterprise role model for early warning counterintelligence threat detection. While in the government, she served as a cyber threats, counterintelligence, and military analyst producing analysis for and briefing the White House and senior policy makers. Prior to her government service, she worked at the Boeing Company as a financial analyst. She is a CERT Insider Threat Vulnerability Assessor.Before moving to D.C. from Oklahoma, Crystal studied Finance and International Business at the University of Oklahoma and Computer Science at the University of Tulsa. In her free time, Crystal supports women pursuing STEM degrees, trains in modern dance, and spends time with her German Shepherds. Find her on Twitter @crystal4lister
Latest posts by Crystal Lister
- Empower Your Workforce to Play Insider Threat Defense - December 4, 2017
- 3 Ways to Mitigate Insider Threat Risk Prior to an Employee’s Departure - November 7, 2017
- Digital Risk of Data Increases When Employees Leave - March 29, 2017