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Awareness is Key

An effective Insider Threat Program (ITP) is incomplete without an awareness program. Employees should be the sensors, not the targets. Equip your team to recognize and report suspicious activities, turning your human capital into a robust line of defense.

Awareness Program Watchlist:

  1. Behavioral Indicators: Train staff to recognize signs of potential insider threats.
  2. Clear Reporting Channels: Ensure easy and anonymous ways to report concerns.
  3. Regular Updates: Keep the program fresh with new scenarios and threat vectors.
  4. Metrics and Feedback: Continuously measure effectiveness and adapt.

Staff should be trained to recognize a range of behavioral indicators that could signal a potential insider threat. Here are some key behaviors to watch for:

  • Financial Red Flags:
  • Sudden Affluence: Unexplained wealth or lavish spending can be a sign.
  • Financial Distress: Constant complaints about money issues may indicate vulnerability to bribery or theft.
  • Risky Business: Increased gambling or speculative stock trading can indicate confidence in covering losses through other means.
  • Work-Related Behaviors:
  • Excessive Overtime: Especially when unscheduled or without a clear reason
  • Unauthorized Access: Attempting to access data or areas outside their job scope
  • Frequent Policy Violations: Repeatedly ignoring or bypassing security protocols
  • Emotional Indicators:
  • Drastic Mood Changes: Sudden shifts in behavior or attitude
  • Isolation: Withdrawal from team activities or discussions
  • Defensiveness: Overly sensitive to criticism or questioning
  • Technical Signs:
  • Unusual Data Transfers: Large or frequent data transfers during off-hours
  • Multiple Failed Logins: Could indicate attempts to access unauthorized areas
  • Use of Unauthorized External Devices: Connecting USB drives or tethering to a personal phone

Being vigilant about these behaviors doesn’t mean jumping to conclusions; instead, it’s about creating a culture of awareness and responsibility. Staff should know how to report these signs through appropriate channels, allowing for proper investigation and action in a way that protects both privacy and organizational interests.


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