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How background checking can tackle the rise in Insider Threat

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

Since the Covid-19 pandemic Insider Threat has been on the rise. According to a study by cybersecurity they suggest that Insider Threats have increased by 57%.

The reasons for this increase are numerous and varied, but one of the most significant issues they provide is that they are extremely difficult to identify. Insider threats include both malicious and negligent insiders, with the former stealing, hacking, and blackmailing employees to gain access to IT systems, and the latter making mistakes that result in sensitive data being lost or released accidently.

The most dangerous security threats today come from trusted insiders with access to critical data and systems, both malicious and careless insiders. Insiders have lawful access to your organisation's systems, networks, and data, unlike external risks like hackers. According to a study by BetterCloud who surveyed 500 IT and security professionals, 91% feel most vulnerable to Insider Threat. 62% of those IT and security professionals believe that the biggest security threat comes from well-meaning but negligent end users. Insider Threats can come in various shapes and sizes, so there isn’t necessarily a single profile to work with, although they do tend to fall into two distinct types.

When it comes to malicious and negligent insider threats, it can be difficult to separate legitimate use-cases from malicious attempts because insiders have approved access privileges. Because insiders frequently have high access privileges to critical data and applications, detecting malicious behavior becomes increasingly challenging. The conditions for successful insider threat are getting more difficult to regulate as a result of the development of data sharing apps and more data escaping the traditional network perimeter.

Negligent insider threat

The negligent Insider Threats are careless not malevolent. Their negligent behavior stems from mistakes that result in sensitive data being shared in the wrong place, which in turn prevents the business from operating effectively and being compliant with security regulations.

Staff members can be misled into clicking on a phishing links, resulting in a considerable amount of personal data being stolen. Staff member could also unintentionally send emails to the incorrect person. In mid-2019, for example, the confidential health information of 24 NHS staff was leaked after an HR employee forwarded an email to a group of top executives.

Malicious insider threat

The Malicious insider threats steal company information deliberately and willfully, usually for financial gain, a competitive advantage, or a personal vendetta.

For example, a former employee of an organisation with a vendetta against them, could sell confidential information to a rival/competitor. Because they are familiar with an organisation's security rules and processes, as well as its weaknesses, they would have an edge over other attackers such as hacker.

Indicators of a malicious insider could be;

· If an employee appears to be dissatisfied or have a personal vendetta against an employee

· If an employee signs into the network at suspicious times

· Is transferring too much data via the network

· Accessing unusual resources

Here's how regular background checks can help you minimize the insider threat

As difficult as it may be to determine who the company's most serious internal threats are, the repercussions of failing to do so can be terrible, not least in terms of the cost of cleaning up the mess and the harm to the company's reputation.

Start with the hiring process

It makes sense to minimize the threat at first hand, so conducting thorough backgrounds checks in the hiring process can identify candidates with suspicious employment history.

These signs can be:

· A criminal history or a questionable credit history

· Been fired from previous jobs due to malfeasance or negligence

· They lied or misrepresented their qualifications and work experience

· Previous employers have had a history of disagreements or lawsuits

Effective background checking tactics

Undertaking such checks are especially crucial in fields where personnel have more than typical access to sensitive systems and data, such as IT, finance, procurement, and human resources.

It is important to introduce background checks not just in the hiring process but also on a semi-regular basis throughout the employees employment. This way you can monitor any malicious intent when it comes to each employee. If your company outsources specific expertise like IT, you need be extra cautious when screening contractors. Obtaining background checks and references from past employers will give you the information that will assist you in keeping your business safe.

How can VettingGateway help?

VettingGateway can help reduce the risk of Inside Threat by making your background checking process quick and simple. VettingGateway can be adapted to your individual requirements; it allows you to choose bespoke background checks and questions which will help avoid missing any important information, making the vetting process more robust and dependable.

VettingGateway will send you reminders and a task to-do list to help you prioritise activities from most critical to least important, as well as send you reminders when these tasks are due. This will help you save time on background checks and make it a more satisfying experience.

VettingGateway will also help store all background data securely and will delete as appropriate to your company. You can be safe in the knowledge that data is being deleted at the right time, making you fully compliant with data policies and reducing manual work to remove the data yourself.

If you would like to learn more about VettingGateway you can click here, or you can sign up for your free starter licence and claim three free reference check by clicking here.


The information Provided by VettingGateway in this blog was published on the 21/04/2022, all information was relevant at the time of publishing however as our landscape is forever changing this information may not remain valid.

*Average 21 day turnaround for aviation background checks correct as of 01/04/2022

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