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The Cuckoo in the Nest: Scotlands First Insider Threat Conference

The Scottish Business Resilience Centre recently held “The Cuckoo in the Nest: Scotland's First  Insider Threat Conference”

We normally see the threats as coming from outside the organisation and all staff would never do any harm to the organisation they love working in! The conference showed that this was not always true! 1. What is an insider threat? Those who have privileged access to our IT system, intellectual   property, physical access to our buildings and/or goods can be a large number of people and organisations. These can include suppliers, outsourced services, joint venture partners, contractors, temporary employees, consultants, cloud service providers, distributers and agents. All have insider access to part or your entire organisation and could use this access to cause you harm. Do you have robust  measures for checking those who have access to your sensitive information and systems? Are measures in place for making sure that those working with you are aware of their responsibilities in regard to your information, and do you check that they are complying with them? 
2. Insider threats don’t all need to be malicious actions by employees; accidental actions could have as major an impact as a purposeful action.
3. Do you have a robust leavers’ system which makes sure that all employee access to IT systems, keys to buildings, alarm codes and ID cards are taken from employees when they leave the organisation? If you have 'bad leavers' this is especially important.
4. A time of change in an organisation can be a time when you are more likely to have disruptive events caused by disgruntled employees within your organisation. If your organisation is implementing a major change, perhaps be more vigilant for acts of   sabotage but also give as much support to staff as possible, which may prevent acts of intentional damage.
5. Vetting of new employees is very important and all background and reference checks should be rigorously followed up
6. Do you have insider threat on your ‘risk register’. The majority in the conference said they didn’t. It was recommended that insider threat should be on all organisations’ risk registers and we should all have a plan in place for dealing with it once it is discovered.
Extract from article by Charlie Maclean-Bristol
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