Four Strategies to Preventing Insider Risk in the Post-Pandemic Enterprise Landscape

4 Strategies to Preventing Insider Risk in the Post-Pandemic Enterprise Landscape

Security teams must have the ability to identify the most critical risks while simultaneously seeing everything – all data activity, on and off the network, across all vectors and users. To do so, they’ll need to be able to organize highly automated, properly designed responses. And, perhaps most importantly, they must commit to doing everything without compromising the business – protecting the company without sacrificing user speed, creativity or collaboration.

Employees are 85 percent more likely to leak files than they were before the pandemic, as per the Code42 2021 Data Exposure Report. The truth is that data security threats were increasing prior to the pandemic, as businesses prioritized speed and collaboration via the cloud.

However, as everyone uploaded, downloaded, emailed, and sync-and-shared their way through the pandemic, these powerful and promising new means of working have become the most critical data security risks for the organization. The fundamental issue is that data security paradigms haven’t caught up, keeping data security personnel in the dark about rising insider risk while aggravating customers by stifling speed, ingenuity, and innovation.

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Managing Insider Risk

Insider risk is becoming widely acknowledged as a pervasive problem that isn’t being addressed by traditional approaches. In fact, 71 percent of security leaders agree that traditional responses to data loss aren’t working, according to a 2021 Forrester report. Insider risk is a complicated and multifaceted issue, which is why policy-based approaches, which necessitate absolute awareness to tag all vital data and precise prediction of all threat channels, can’t keep up.

When and where is the data of the company exposed to insider risk?  

Traditional policy-based data security technologies can only look for what they’re directed to look for, resulting in significant and expanding blind spots. The first step in managing insider risk is to implement the appropriate tools and technologies. All data activity must be monitored across all dimensions of risk – all vectors, all files, and all users.

What data risk is the organization unwilling to accept?

Until recently, the concept of risk tolerance was nearly unheard of in the domain of data security. Almost every company now recognizes that they must tolerate a certain level of insider risk to enable the speed, agility, and innovation required to survive and succeed in today’s business environment.

Businesses must agree on an organization-wide insider risk tolerance once they have complete visibility and context around where their data is exposed, so that their security team can start creating a list of trusted and untrusted activities and incidents. Organizations can’t hope to specify all possibilities, so they should focus on frequent insider behavior that serve as early warning signs of insider risk.

When is the most critical data in the most vulnerable state?

The science of risk indicator prioritization is made possible by the ability to identify insider risk tolerance. That is, triangulating leading signs of insider risk using the rich context around data activity. With the help of right data security technologies, the security team can use these insider risk indicators to prioritize higher-severity events over lower-severity ones.

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What is the best way to deal with insider risk?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to insider risk, just as there is no blanket blocking policy that can be applied to all individuals and all data. The security team should work with business leaders to develop appropriate responses to the highlighted insider risk events. They also need to put in place technologies that allow them to create highly automated insider risk response workflows that include a combination of human and technology reactions that are appropriately sized for the severity of the event, without overburdening security employees.

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