Many companies nowadays are not taking the essential steps to improve their readiness in data protection. This leaves them exposed to breaches that can threaten them. Many that steal data from companies and organisations may be proxies for career cybercriminals, enraged activists, or hostile foreign governments.

Unfortunately, it is apparent that not all organisations are prepared to combat insider threats. This is where the Advanced Certificate in Data Protection Operational Excellence can come in handy. The Advanced Certificate in Data Protection Operational Excellence comprises five modules covering operational aspects in data protection and information security.

It also includes practical application for Data Protection by Design and Data Protection Impact Assessment.  The ISO/IEC 27701 framework also provides the necessary guidelines for fortifying the security and privacy structure of the organisation.

Typically, pre-employment screening is the main way for remote team management software organisations to counter insider attacks. This is especially important for jobs that will require a security clearance. Checking references from previous employers can also highlight concerns about a person’s temperament or reliability.

Criminal record checks can also help organisations determine if an individual can be trusted with personal data. Credit checks can show their financial vulnerability. However,  it is unfortunate to note that screening is considered a point-in-time assessment. Once the person joins the company, they are rarely checked again.

A 2013 UK government study found that 76% of inside attackers did not join a company with the intention of sabotaging operations or stealing data. In many cases, the decision to act maliciously came as a result of changes in ideology, desire for recognition, negative work experience, financial situation, or alcohol or drug dependency.

Only 6% of the cases involved deliberate infiltration. The rest were coerced by third parties to get involved in the attack. While technology is not a silver bullet, it is considered a bolster in the company’s defences against possible insider attacks.

For starters, behaviour analytics and artificial intelligence can help determine user actions that deviate from the norm (i.e., employees trying to view confidential data or accessing the corporate network outside the normal office hours). Part of effective management involves giving employees permission to access only the data they need to perform their roles.

It is also crucial that organisations take the roles of Data Protection Officers (DPOs) seriously. They need to provide the DPO with the tools that are available and are required for them to be able to control what goes on in all the departments and the organisations’ subsidiaries.

Special emphasis should also be given to employees in operations. This is important as most data breaches occur on the operational level, whether by mistake or maliciously. It is also crucial that companies consider the following essential steps:

  • Create a governance structure. Appoint a Data Protection Officer and ensure the creation of a governance structure to collaborate on the Privacy Program.
  • Determine risks. Find out process risks, inventory risks, project risks, and compliance risks. If not controlled, this can result in privacy incidents or breaches.
  • Manage programs. Ensure policies are communicated clearly and accountability is achieved by management and staff.
  • Sustain compliance initiatives. Test and train staff and perform ongoing audits to sustain the initiatives.
  • Respond to data incidents and subject requests. Manage and document incidents and breaches as well as data subject requests.

You can also look into software that can help achieve operational compliance with data protection, demonstrate accountability to regulators, and implement data protection.

In conclusion, finding that balance between trusting the employees and checking if they are performing within the bounds of information-security policies is considered an integral part of any cyber-risk management program. Not getting it right can have devastating consequences for the business.