Insider Threat Management

You Don’t Have to Be “Big Brother” to Manage Insider Threats

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Big Brother is Watching You.

You’ve likely heard this slogan before, featured heavily by the fictional surveillance state of Oceania in George Orwell’s infamous science fiction novel, 1984. In the novel, this slogan is used to constantly remind Oceania’s citizens that their government is monitoring them, and to stay in line, via various pieces of propaganda.


The reference has been used by tech companies before. Remember Apple's take?

Outside of this fictional world, however, this quote is often brought up to represent and sum up the potential for abuses of privacy, and civil liberties with technology and policy. Understandably, this makes it the last thing anyone wants to hear their colleagues talking about around the office water cooler.

What’s a cybersecurity pro to do?

The Ever-Looming Threat to Security

Both external and insider threats to your organisational networks, systems, and data are increasing every day, and you need to institute new technologies and policies to protect both property and people. In fact, “90% of security problems are caused by people,” according to a 2016 data breach investigations report.


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Part of the answer can be found by building something that we like to call: “universal trust.” The other part: by using the right insider threat management tools.

To Build Trust, You Have to Be Trustworthy

There is a reason why trust falls are so common in high school gymnasiums around the United States: if you can build trust among the members of a group, they will work better together. The same can be said for those of us now looking to build trust (and work through all that dodgeball PTSD) in the workplace.

Universal trust is the trust that a company has for its employees, and for those employees to have for their company. But the best way to think of it is to think of trust as a two-way street. You want to be able to trust your employees and colleagues, and they want to be able to trust you.

So, what are some things that you can do to instill trust when instituting new security policies and technologies?

  1. Be open (transparent)
    Establish boundaries for security protocols, and publicly offer details within your organisation where possible. 
  2. Be honest
    If your organisation expects honesty from its employees, make your security policies and subsequent actions representative of that honesty. 
  3. Be reliable
    Consistently follow-through on what you say that you will or will not do as an organisation when it comes to insider threats and cybersecurity. 
  4. Show integrity
    Be assertive, and always commit to doing better as individuals and as an organisation. Then, build it into your digital code of conduct. As the saying goes, “together we are one.”

It’s also important to communicate well and communicate often.

The last thing that you want is for your colleagues to fear unknown company cybersecurity policies and associated tech.

Choosing the Right Tool for the Job

Proofpoint ITM doesn’t only help you identify and stop insider threats to data, servers, and networks. It empowers you to build trust with your colleagues, and business partners. (Y’know, like we just talked about.)

ITM can help your organisation:

  1. Detect Insider Threats
    By monitoring risky activity and identify unusual actions in real time, based on your standards, or using out-of-the-box insider threat indicators. (Ensure compliance, and stop data loss)


  2. Investigate Incidents
    Get 360-degree insight into user activity through user session recordings, and action alerts that deliver context based on activity. (Including 3rd parties, and internal teams)


  3. Prevent Insider Threats
    Politely warn and notify users when they are about to breach organisational guidelines and stop risky or out-of-policy actions.

In short, Proofpoint ITM offers your organisation accountability on a grand (and individual) scale.

Establish Checks & Balances

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You can anonymise user data to prevent personal information from falling into the wrong hands and protect user privacy. But it’s not the only way to avoid that negative label.

So long as you state your intentions on an organisational level, set public standards of conduct, consistently enforce said conduct, and anonymise private data, you’re on the path towards building trust with your users and partners. It’s all about checks and balances!

Speaking of checks – have you taken our insider threat management platform out for a test drive yet?