A recent study reports that companies have seen a 47% increase in insider threats to their business compared to previous years. In this blog we’re going to look at insider threats more closely and share how completing ongoing employment checks can help mitigate this growing area of risk.

what is an insider threat?

The Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) defines insider threat as a malicious risk that someone from within the organisation will use their authorized accesses to the company’s information, security practices, and data, to harm the organisation. Key sources of insider threat may include anyone with access to company data such as employees, former employees, associates, contractors, etc. Insider threat is the greatest factor of security risk that organizations face.

why is insider threat on the rise?

Since the start of the pandemic, insider threats have been on the rise. The increased frequency of insider threats is either because of unintentional errors, malicious associates, poor data security standards, employees, or contractors. The major factors driving insider threat include fraud, monetary gains, substance abuse, and theft of intellectual property. Along with this, the persistence of home working has also been a major factor for the increased number of insider incidents.

how to identify insider threats?

According to a study conducted by a leading SaaS company, 91% of the respondents said they feel exposed to insider threats. The reason behind these threats may be various but the main challenge at hand is that these threats are very hard to detect. Companies can invest in technology-aided systems to monitor behaviour of employees and detect suspicious activity. Threat detection and prevention can be supported with proper data protocols. Along with this, because of the challenges of threat identification companies can involve in background checking of all new and existing hires to prevent reputational and monetary damage.

Today, background checks have expanded into a comprehensive process because of these threats. Screening procedures help to uncover potential indicators of risk and intentions that a candidate may bring into your organisation.

Your company is faced with a risk every time someone new is hired. Along with this, according to a study in 2022 64% of employers are likely to outsource work to contractual workers. Outsourcing work adds to the risk for the company. Hence, employers must verify information candidate provides during the recruitment process. All details must be scanned and examined for any red flags. Any candidate, permanent or contractual, exhibiting a high-risk character must not be hired. Conducting in-depth pre-hire screening is important as it helps in building a safe workplace and determines the future of the company. Along with pre-hire checks, companies must devise a plan to conduct ongoing background checks to know if any employee steps over a line that affects the company in any way possible.

It is hard to predict how employees will react to any future happenings in their lives such as financial crisis, substance abuse, etc hence many organisations have found a key way of avoiding insider threats with the help of background checks and ongoing screening. These measures ensure a safe and controlled work environment. Companies can involve in various post-hire screening methods to detect activities of insider threat, these may include a credit report, social media searches, asset evaluation, etc.

benefits of ongoing screening

Neglecting follow-up screening can be damaging for the company. Companies can benefit from ongoing screening in the following ways:

  • updated records

With ongoing screening, you can have up-to-date information about the employees. Any changes to employees’ records can be highlighted with rescreening. Based on the new information you will be aware of any changes that could impact the safety of clients and other employees.

  • reduced mistakes

There is the possibility that some employees may have managed to get away the first time they were screened. Rescreening employees can help organisations protect themselves from the risk an employee poses to the workplace.

  • changed screening requirements

There are chances that screening requirements may have changed over time. Rescreening candidates ensure companies maintain similar records for new and tenured employees while staying legally compliant with government regulations.

Companies can conduct pre and post-hire screening themselves but outsourcing these checks to a screening service provider can save time and resources. Along with a streamlined procedure, companies can stay legally compliant with the help of a third-party service provider.