Insider Threats: How Businesses Can Protect Themselves

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By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) – How can businesses protect against the ongoing risk that one or more of their existing employees will use insider access—wittingly or unwittingly—to do harm to the security of the places where they work. The potential threats can include espionage, terrorism, unauthorized disclosure of corporate proprietary information, loss or degradation of capabilities and more.

At a minimum, stolen or misplaced intellectual property, such as scientific research or other sensitive data—can give competitors an edge in business decisions. Then, there are the more serious issues: Rogue employees who turn to workplace violence to express their grievances. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace homicides rose by two percent to 417 cases in 2015 over the previous year, with shootings increasing by 15 percent.

“It is critical for every company to establish and implement an all-inclusive and integrated program to deal with insider threats before they happen,” says Dr. Kathleen Kiernan, CEO of Kiernan Group Holdings (KGH), a global consulting firm that specializes in developing and disseminating strategies to understand and mitigate active threats and how organizations can best recover from them after they occur. “There are concrete steps that can be learned that will both increase preparedness and serve as an early-warning system to identify and deter the wide range of threats which can adversely impact conducting ‘business-as-usual.’”

Many of these steps have been incorporated by KGH into its Preparedness Without Paranoia™ programs, which are predicated on the fact that understanding the modern threat environment does not have to be an intimidating or overwhelming task. From small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, the resiliency of any organization in a threatening situation depends on the extent to which its employees are prepared, confident and capable of reacting appropriately and effectively. In this way, Preparedness Without Paranoia™ seeks to foster and develop an educated and engaged citizenry through teaching heightened situational awareness and increasing each individual’s security efficacy. More specifically, Preparedness Without Paranoia™ emphasizes the importance of understanding today’s threat environment, recognizing telltale signs of an evolving threat, and empowering people to take effective action.

KGH has innovated an end-to-end approach to problem solving centered on the rapid transformation of data and information into knowledge and foreknowledge. KGH’s approach focuses on a fusion of talent, technologies and tradecraft to deliver the timely and precise insight required for operational advantage or strategic planning. KGH also provides technical, analytical and leadership training for organizations seeking to enhance performance and gain advantages by rapidly and precisely solving problems, preventing surprise and making decisions.

“Whether a threat is directed toward a business’ property or its people, an actionable preparedness plan is a must, and consulting with experts with experience in this area can be extremely beneficial,” Dr. Kiernan adds.

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