Internal Security Threats That Businesses Must Be Aware Of

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    We live in a world where businesses rely majorly on ‘big data’ to streamline their operations, analyze market trends and increase revenue and profits. A company’s data is its most valuable asset and that is why businesses strive hard to secure their data against breaches. But, because corporate data can make or break a business, it has several eyes prying on it. Cyber crimes are on the rise, as hackers look out for every opportunity that they get to access business networks and information.

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     Internal Security Threats for Businesses

    But are external agents like hackers the only reason behind every corporate data breach? How do external security threats penetrate through the powerful security infrastructure created by businesses? Cyber security is a responsibility of not just the company IT teams, but every employee of the organization. A text surveys suggests that 94% of the organizations have suffered insider data breaches in 2021. This makes us wonder whether employees are an organization’s biggest strength or biggest vulnerability.

    What Are the Internal Threats That Can Hamper Corporate Security?

    With the lines between office work and remote work blurring, more and more employees work from beyond their office premises and access corporate data on their personal or company-issued mobile devices.

    Here are some of the major internal security threats that businesses must watch out for:

    1. Employee Sabotage

    Businesses have to provide access to all their corporate tools, resources and devices and simply trust the employees with keeping them safe. What happens to your sensitive corporate data stored on your employees’ devices once they quit or retire from your organization? Several businesses have experienced data breaches caused on purpose by their own employees. There’s always an underlying concern of your employees stealing business-critical devices and documents or copying confidential data on USB flash drives and exposing it to your competitors.

    2. Avoiding Security Best-Practices

    By now, most of the world is familiar with remote working. Most businesses around the world have adopted BYOD management to allow employees to access corporate resources from their personal devices. Despite training your staff for security hygiene and remote working best practices, most employees tend to take security measures lightly. Sharing device passwords with friends and family members, leaving devices open in public places and using simple passwords that can easily be decoded, are some of the common examples that have led to accidental data leakage.

    3. Downloading Malicious Files

    Mobile apps and software have become such a common part of our lives, that we do not think much before downloading and using an application on our smartphones and laptops. Employees seldom investigate apps for their integrity or security before installing them on their mobile devices. This simple act of downloading apps or files from untrusted sources can be a major cause of malware infiltration. Several employees defy company IT policies and use unauthorized third-party tools that may have several vulnerabilities and malicious codes.

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    Photo by rawpixel from freepik

    4. Falling Prey to Phishing & Social Engineering

    Enterprise IT teams worry about phishing and social engineering activities the most because employees are most vulnerable to these forms of cyber attacks. Both these forms of cyber attacks are caused by external sources, but they trick the internal employees of the organization into performing activities that will help to create an entry point into the corporate network. Clicking on untrusted websites, emails or ad links are the most common reasons for corporate systems being hacked.

    5. Use of Unauthorized Devices

    The use of USB devices to store and transfer data can be a boon and bane for businesses. While portable devices like USB drives make data exchange must faster and easier, one act of carelessness can cause a major data breach. Several organizations rely on mobile device management solutions to disable USB ports and push other security configurations on employees’ mobile devices. However, there are some employees that chose to defy IT policies and make use of their personal MDM-unmanaged devices to access corporate data. If employees use unauthorized devices to access business information, enterprises have no visibility of their actions and hence fail to offer protection.

    What Makes Employees the Soft Target?

    The prime factor behind all the internal corporate security threats is the human element. No matter how many security hygiene sessions you conduct for your employees, in the end, manual errors cannot be eliminated entirely. Hackers and external agents take advantage of this very factor to break into corporate networks. 

    Of course, there are other reasons why employees tend to make such careless mistakes, like remote working. As a part of remote working, employees are now used to working from their homes, or public places such as hotels and cafes. Leaving laptops and smartphones unlocked, connecting corporate devices to public WiFis, etc. are just some of the many reasons why employees become easy targets to the countless lurking cyber threats.

    How Can Your Business Tackle These Internal Threats?

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    Photo by rawpixel from freepik

    Human errors can never be completely eliminated, which is why businesses must identify solutions that can help them reinforce their corporate security measures. Modern-day MDM solutions like Scalefusion help businesses add extra layers of security to their devices and simplify remote management.

    Let’s understand how.

    1. Allowing/Blocking Websites

    Scalefusion MDM lets you allow or block selective websites on your employees’ MDM-managed mobile devices. With this, the chances of your employees browsing distractive content and clicking on suspicious links or untrusted websites diminishes.

    2. Configuring the Kiosk Mode

    Company IT admins can leverage Scalefusion’s Kiosk Mode with which you can lock your employees’ devices into one or more business apps. All the other apps on the device are disabled. With this, there is no threat of employees downloading malcious apps and files on their devices.

    3. Conditional Email Access

    Emails are one of the leading ways in which the corporate world exchanges business information. IT admins can configure Conditional Email Access for IceWarp and Exchange Online, which ensures that employees enroll their devices with Scalefusion MDM and comply with the enterprise policies for continuity of corporate email services.

    4. BYOD Management

    Businesses can confidently allow their employees to work from anywhere and use their personal devices to access corporate resources with Scalefusion’s BYOD policies. IT admins can create separate work containers on employees’ devices and push corporate policies to that specific work container without compromising employees’ privacy.

    5. Passcode Policies

    You can configure Passcode Policies to define the length, strength and complexity of your employees’ passwords, as well as how often they should be renewed. Passwords act as the first line of defense against data theft. Strong passwords can go a long way in preventing unauthorized access to your employees’ devices and the data stored on them.

    6. VPN mandate

    Mandating the use of VPNs on your employees’ devices is especially important since several employees work remotely. Scalefusion MDM helps you to push VPN configurations on a large number of employees’ devices remotely.

    7. Automated OS and system updates

    App and system vulnerabilities are common sources of malware infiltration. Your employees may or may not take app and OS updates seriously. Most people delay their app and OS updates indefinitely. Scalefusion helps IT admins automate app and system updates, as well as patch management for Windows devices to ensure that no system vulnerabilities are left behind.

    8. Regular Vulnerability Scanning
    Vulnerability scanning is one of the best practices most recommended by cybersecurity specialists everywhere. For this, companies use leading cyber threat detection tools that scan their networks and digital framework in detail to identify potential threats, flaws, and weaknesses before someone with malicious intent.

    Closing Lines

    The internal threats discussed in this blog can lead to business data breaches, loss of revenue and a deteriorated brand image. Your organization can strengthen its security measures by implementing an efficient MDM solution.

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    Shambhavi Awate
    Shambhavi Awate
    Shambhavi is a Senior Content Writer at Promobi Technologies with prior experience in commercial writing, creative planning, product cataloging, and content strategizing. She is a "Biotechnologist turned writer" and believes that the inception of great ideas happens over coffee.

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