CyberSecurity – How to Trap the Insider Threat

With most of the cybersecurity attacks coming from inside the network most small and medium business and not for profit organisations need to focus on securing their data.

The hardest part of this equation is how do you detect, stop then apprehend someone who has some level of trust within your business?

Technology is part of the solution,  but so is management, compliance and sustainability.   They all have a role in finding and tracking unauthorised access to your business data.   What sort of solutions do you need to deploy to ensure that your business data is not lost, destroyed or corrupted by someone you trust.

Here are 5 things that may help the process!

 Keep track of employees ethical behavior.

All people have an ethical standard that they adhere to most of the time.   Your staff are no different.   In today’s business world, an owner cannot pry into an employees life, but there are other ways of looking for the patterns.

The culture of the business and the attitude of staff and management is one thing that can focus your attention on.   People moving outside the norm, not talking to anyone in the office or having a sullenly outlook on life can be tell tales that your COULD have a problem.

 Keep an eye on employees – but tell them as well

Monitoring your business through logging access, electronic doors and internal video can help you understand if your information is vulnerable.   If you are doing this then you need to inform everyone that it is happening, this can be done when they sign their employment contract.

If your business is big enough add normal people to your cyber security team.

If your cybersecurity team consists of only technical people then you may not focus on other vectors of attack.   The technical people will only think of technical solutions, these can be expensive and ineffective for a business.

 Track the strange

In most business environments strange is bad.   If it shouldn’t be happening and it is then you may have a deeper problem than you first thought.   Something small and insignificant can be marked as strange, but when someone says “that’s strange” then your ears should prick up. And the answer should be “what’s strange”?

In most offices, most people should be able to desern what is happening by just ease dropping and listening to normal conversations.   This way everyone knows what is happening within the business.

Get help from your staff by involving them in the business.

This once again goes back the the culture of the business.  If everyone in the business is concerned about where the business is going and how it will get there then most of the time there will be little problem with internal data theft.   It is when you have a business model that relies on confrontation and back stabbing that your problems with data security will escalate.

This is the place for “top grading” your staff so that you ensure that you get the staff that are good for business, especially YOUR business.


The insider threat is just as real if not more so than the outside attacker.   By making sure that you understand your staff and understand their motivations then you should be able to keep you important data secure.

Roger Smith, is an educator. Teaching students at ADFA (UNSW) and showing them how vulnerable they are to cybercrime.

He is also CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd, an Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime and founder of the SME Security Framework. He is a Consultant who specialises in inexpensive and highly effective security strategies for small and medium businesses and not for profit organisations.

He has developed and authored the SME Security Framework and the Security Policy Training Course which are considered to be the definitive guides to helping SME's protect their organisation using the principles of Technology, Management, Adaptability and Compliance.