How to Protect Your Systems from Insider Theft

Sep 24, 2019Blog, Guest posts

One of the biggest headaches for business owners is protecting their data systems against the threat of cybercriminals and hackers. This is an ongoing problem that most of them deal with, but many do not realize that it is not unusual for data theft to occur by one of their own employees. You need to be just as vigilant about this possibility as you do about outsiders gaining access to sensitive information. There are some very basic things you can put in place to lower the risk of this happening, and here are just a few suggestions.

How to Protect Your Systems from Insider Theft

Restrict Access

Access should be restricted to those that really need it to carry out their job. Leaving your data free for anyone to get into is asking for trouble and should never be allowed. You should also ensure that anyone that is authorized to have access changes their password frequently to help keep your data more secure. A study carried out by McAfee and Intel showed that 43% of data breaches come from inside an organization, and if you restrict access, at least you will narrow down the field of the thief if a data theft should occur.

Include Security in Training

Security measures should be included in training, and if your employees do not need ongoing new information after they have been working a while, you should periodically have meetings to deal with the matter. Let them know the importance of keeping data safe. They should be aware of the security measures you have in place and of the company policy regarding these matters. Sometimes, knowing that you would make use of the free forensic tools as detailed at Secure Forensics will be enough to deter a would-be thief. You should also have a system where it is simple for an employee to report anything suspicious without any fear.

Be Extra Vigilant with New Employees and Leavers

It has been known for people to gain employment within an organization as part of a plan to get access to sensitive information. You need to be extra vigilant with new employees and make sure they are not trying to obtain information that is not part of their remit. By the same token, when someone is leaving, extra caution is needed, especially if they are leaving on bad terms.

Some companies remove access to all systems as soon as they know an employee is leaving and ask them to leave the premises to help prevent a data breach. This does mean they have to pay the employee for the time they will not have worked, but that is a small price to pay for keeping your data secure.

Be Aware

You should never just assume that your systems and data are safe from theft by an employee. It happens every day of the week, and you need to be aware that it could happen to your business. Even employees that have worked within your business for a long time and are trusted could be tempted to steal data in the right circumstances. Take whatever steps are necessary to reduce the risk of a data breach, as no-one can ever be 100% certain it will not happen to them.


Graphic and website designer, currently, I attend to the maintenance of about thirty sites for existing clients as well as creating websites for the new ones. In my free time, I get into the secrets of the world of Linux, SSH, WP-CLI and I’m preparing this blog.

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