Accidental Insider Threat

An Accidental Insider Threat is where an employees actions could lead to damage to a system or network, the loss of critical or sensitive data, or even a helpful employee that holds a door open for a hacker to enter a secure building. These incidents can occur with zero malicious intent, making the incidents accidental, but still damaging to the company.

For example, an employee may accidentally delete an important document, fall victim to a spear-phishing attack, or accidentally share more information with a client than they are legally allowed to.

Related Terms: Data Loss Prevention, Insider, Malicious Insider Threat

What should SMB’s do about Accidental Insider Threats?

Educate your employees that cybersecurity incidents aren’t always caused by hackers outside the company.  Internal threats exist that are both accidental in nature and malicious.  Educating your staff to be vigilant in watching for inside threats and risks is a critical piece of your SMB’s cybersecurity program. 

All threats against your company, whether a disgruntled employee, or simply an employee who isn’t properly trained can lead to catastrophic compromises. Here are a few prevent tips to keep this from happening:

  1. Implement the Principle of Least Privilege;
  2. Monitor systems to see where data is coming from and who is accessing it;
  3. Implement Data Loss Prevention technologies on your email systems to spot critical and sensitive data leaving your business; and
  4. Train employees on the security basics including malicious and accidental insider threats.

To learn more about the different types of incidents that can occur in your organization, watch this short video:

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