The Importance Of Offboarding For Insider Threat Protection

Taking care of insider threat concerns has never been more important. With the Great Resignation, more businesses with online data security vulnerabilities, and an increasing number of businesses moving remote, it’s become more important than ever to hit all of the security best practices to reduce the risk of a security breach. 

One of the most important best practices is offboarding employees, contractors, and third parties to protect company data. These articles talk about why that’s so important and how to do so:

How Offboarding is Critical to Insider Threat Protection

Offboarding refers to removing employee access to your company for fired, retired, furloughed, and laid-off workers because they no longer need access to this information. Offboarding is an essential part of the resignation termination process. It is the process that formally transitions those who used to be with the company in some capacity into those no longer involved in the company. 

Offboarding is important because it separates or removes the access that these individuals had to your company. This includes access to files, folders, networks, email, and other data. In doing so, that person can no longer log onto your normal operating process or complete transactions or activities within software and applications. 

You may be surprised to learn that employees and former employees present companies with insider risk.

When a departing employee has access to your intellectual property, you are giving them access to your data and you no longer have control over their actions when it comes to your company. When someone works for your company, you have to trust them to a certain extent. When they no longer work for your company, then that trust is gone, even if they have left in good standing. 

Regardless, because they don’t work for your company, they are no longer authorized to represent your company and their access presents a security threat. This applies to all employees, regardless of whether or not they present as disgruntled employees.

The whole point of having authorized personnel, password access, and role access management within your company is for security reasons. Without these things, anyone can access a company’s personal information, network, and so on to steal this information. Therefore, offboarding employees, contractors, or third parties is essential to the security process. By allowing former employees access to employee-only data, you are risking your company’s security by means of an insider threat. 

What Exactly is an Insider Threat?

Insider threats refer to those individuals who have access to sensitive data or have been granted access to sensitive business data through an individual linked to a company who has authorized access. 

Insider threats can include current employees, current contractors, former employees and contractors, remote workers, and third parties. These parties can be negligent, in that they accidentally let a malicious actor into your company’s secure network, or they can be malicious, in that they intentionally access your sensitive information with the goal to harm the company through cyber criminal activity. 

Insider threats are easily one of the most prominent forms of cyber criminal activity. This is simply because it presents an easy target for malicious actors to gain entry into a company through negligent human behavior. According to statistics, two out of three insider threats are due to human negligence, a total of 2,962 attacks (or 63%).

And according to the Cost of Insider Threat Report 2020 from IBM, insider threats can affect companies in every industry and they are only increasing. This, in combination with how easily offboarding can save your company from an insider threat, makes offboarding all the more vital.

Establishing Insider Threat Protection Mechanisms for Ultimate Company Security

While the employee offboarding process is not the sole method for guarding against insider threats, it is vital. The most successful companies at insider threat protection offboard all employees based on defined policies and processes, in addition to using comprehensive approaches. They might use security software that:

  • Maps data that is available and also grants data visibility
  • Establishes trust parameters around granting and revoking access and implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  • Defines data storage and device policies
  • Monitors potential threats and risky behavior

Therefore, if you don’t have any of this, or policies around offboarding for security reasons, then it is important that you set this up. Even small companies can be affected. 

Here’s how to set up insider threat protection:

  • Start by mapping out your company policies related to employee offboarding, computer security and updates, and employee education around security awareness.
  • Implement an offboarding process for privilege access management. This is normally conducted by your human resource department.
  • Invest in smart software that will keep your company’s eyes on your other software security and your employee behavior. Employee monitoring software can ensure that even if you do forget to completely offboard an employee, you still have data visibility and you can mitigate a potential insider threat if it pops up.
  • Be sure your security team implements security best practices, which might include MFA, frequent complex password changes, and firewall monitoring. Some of this can be done with the employee monitoring software, and this monitoring software can also integrate with other security systems in place.
  • Regularly perform insider threat security audits to minimize insider attack threats, which allow you to double-check the access systems and authorized personnel so that former employees or unauthorized access is revoked.

Get Offboarding Support and Insider Threat Protection With SoftActivity

When it comes to protecting against insider threats, you don’t want to mess around. Insider threats can cost your company upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost data and time and is a significant security risk. 

Don’t fall victim to data theft due to insider threats when you can stop and mitigate them swiftly with SoftActivity monitoring. SoftActivity monitor is comprehensive monitoring software that allows a security administrator to monitor all actively monitored users from a single console. 

SoftActivity can track insiders through:

  • Live webcams
  • Live screen monitoring
  • Keystrokes
  • Data movement
  • Application and web page usage
  • Unauthorized access

It can also report on red flags and keep your company up to date with security and productivity best practices, among other things. Improve your cybersecurity today With SoftActivity, and see how SoftActivity has helped hundreds of companies globally protect against insider threats!

By SoftActivity Team.

August 8th, 2022