Intelligent CIO North America Issue 6 - Page 33

EDITOR ’ S QUESTION
ROB BOLTON , GENERAL MANGER INTERNATIONAL
OF THE INSIDE THREAT MANAGEMENT BUSINESS UNIT
AT PROOFPOINT

Since the start of the pandemic , cybercriminals

have wasted no time in capitalising on the change in employee behaviour and work environments . Fear tactics , fatigue and the lack of physical IT support have been leveraged to carry out more prevalent and sophisticated social engineering attacks . To add to this , remote working is becoming the new normal as 54 % of businesses are working towards having a permanent work-from-home workforce , so the human factor involved in cybersecurity needs to be effectively and continually addressed .
Business leaders are trying to get to grips with monitoring employee behaviour , but it is a difficult task . The majority of their current knowledge and technology systems are predicated on the old workforce model in which their employees are in one physical location using the same network and IT teams having fixed technology and solutions they continuously use . However , ‘ work-from-anywhere ’ is the new reality , so wholly relying on the same technology to inform a business of the security risks it faces needs to be re-examined .
A key aspect of monitoring employee behaviour is ensuring insider threats are surveyed while employees are not under the watchful eye of a central IT system . Insider threats are inherently a human problem , and with the ‘ work-from-anywhere ’ new normal , employees ’ work and home lives are becoming intertwined .
Simple fatigue and carelessness can cause employees to make mistakes which are not inherently malicious acts , but often do not adhere to the best security standards – like moving files to a personal cloud sharing platform to get the job done .
Leaders need to not only investigate what their employees are falling vulnerable to in this new remote working world , but also look at and care about changes in employee activities in relation to the systems and sensitive data they interact with . Employees should be one of the first factors considered because they are often the weakest link . Simple mistakes often made unknowingly while working from home can create vulnerabilities and put a business at risk .
Monitoring and surveillance need to be tightened so that IT teams can gain a better understanding of how employee behaviour has changed and decipher which employees are most vulnerable to cyberthreats . In addition to this , IT teams should continue to closely engage with their workforce through regular remote training and open communication to truly understand their concerns and pitfalls . A modern people-centric approach is the right way forward for security teams .
This provides the necessary context , the ‘ who ’, ‘ what ’, ‘ when ’, ‘ where ’ and ‘ why ’ of the incidents . Organisations should think less about the particular type or provider of the technology and instead consider how to get the right data in the hands of security staff much faster to allow them to do their jobs and select vendors through that lens .
Leaders need to not only investigate what their employees are falling vulnerable to in this new remote working world , but also look at and care about changes in employee activities .
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