5 ways to prevent insider threats in your business

When thinking of cyber security threats, you likely imagine an external actor forcing access to your business. In reality, the next threat to your company could be someone unintentionally sharing data or a disgruntled ex-employee who still has access to your systems.

Insider threats occur when an employee or contractor leverages authorised access to intentionally or unintentionally inflict harm on the business. An insider threat can be difficult to detect because the person has authorised access and knowledge of your systems. Someone routinely accessing data will not seem suspicious until that information causes a serious breach or financial loss. An insider threat program is one way to prevent these problems. What should yours include?

Team training on recognising insider threats

Preventing insider threats starts with comprehensive employee training that educates your team on recognising these threats. You should conduct regular training that keeps your team updated on security policies and suspicious behaviour. Training empowers your workforce to recognise suspicious activities and helps stop insider threats before they cause serious damage.

Access controls to limit the spread of sensitive data

Limiting employee access to sensitive data and systems in line with their job responsibilities ensures that only people with a legitimate need can access critical information. By setting clear boundaries and monitoring access points, you greatly reduce the potential for internal breaches and secure your business’ sensitive data.

Regularly monitoring employee activity

Actively monitoring employee activity, particularly concerning network and data access, enables you to detect unauthorised or unusual behaviour quickly. Additionally, when people are aware of the monitoring mechanisms in place, they are less likely to engage in activities that may compromise the company’s security.

A whistle-blower program to call out suspicious behaviour

A whistle-blower program gives people a confidential channel to report any suspicious behaviour they observe. By promoting a transparent and confidential approach, your business can unearth potential threats early and reinforce the message that collective responsibility is at the heart of good cyber security.

Strong security policies

Security policies should encompass areas such as password management, ensuring employees use complex passwords and do not share them with others. It’s also ideal to map out incident response plans and educate your team on how they should react to possible insider threats. Establishing and maintaining these measures can strengthen your business’ defences and promote a security-minded culture.


A good insider threat program starts with comprehensive employee training, access controls, monitoring and security policies. Establishing a whistle-blower program is also an excellent method of promoting transparency and accountability across your organisation. Building these foundations into your company helps you find and mitigate potential insider threats before they harm your team, customers and the business.

Why choose Layer 8’s cyber security training programs?

Our Cyber Escape Rooms provide your team with the knowledge to recognise and prevent insider threats. We use gamification techniques to improve knowledge retention and get your team engaged with cyber security, whether they participate remotely or on-site. Over 5,000 participants have completed our escape rooms and gained their Level 1 in our Cyber Awareness certification process. Please visit our Cyber Escape Rooms page for more reasons to get your team involved.

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