There are three principal area which must be carefully considered when implementing and managing an Insider Risk program. For full details of each of these elements please reach out to the ShadowSight Team or Christopher McNaughton who can assist, but below you will find a comprehensive summary as a good starting point.

Insider Risk Technology

  1. Near Real-Time Monitoring and Analytics: The ability to monitor employee actions and behaviours in near real-time is essential. This includes tracking all user activities related to data usage and exfiltration. Near real-time analytics can help in quickly identifying and mitigating potential risks.
  2. Integration with Existing Systems: The software should seamlessly integrate with the company's existing IT infrastructure, such as databases, content management systems, and other enterprise tools where it makes sense. This aids in ensuring the consistent application of security policies across different platforms.
  3. User Behaviour Analytics (UBA): UBA uses machine learning and statistical analysis to detect known risky behaviour and unusual patterns in user behaviour that might indicate insider threats.
  4. Data Loss Prevention (DLP): DLP mechanisms must be able to detect all channels of potential data breach/transmission.
  5. Policy Enforcement and Compliance Management: The ability to define, enforce, and regularly update company-specific policies related to data access and handling. It should also ensure compliance with regulatory requirements such as GDPR, HIPAA, or the Australian Privacy Act.
  6. Flexible Alerting and Reporting: Customisable alerting and reporting capabilities that inform the right individuals or teams about potential risks in a timely manner. It should be flexible enough to adapt to the specific needs and risks of the organisation.
  7. Scalability: The software should be able to scale with the business, accommodating increased amounts of data and more complex environments without performance degradation.
  8. User Privacy Considerations: While monitoring employees, it's essential to maintain a balance between security and privacy. The software should have features to ensure that privacy laws and ethical guidelines are adhered to.
  9. Ease of Use and Accessibility: It must be user-friendly for administrators and staff involved in monitoring, managing, and investigating insider risks. Training and support should be readily available.
  10. Multi-Tier Security Measures: Implementing additional security measures such as encryption, two-factor authentication, and role-based access controls ensures that the monitoring itself is secure and trustworthy.
  11. Vendor Support and Community: Ongoing support from the vendor, availability of updates, and a community of users can be crucial in ensuring the software stays effective and current with emerging threats.
  12. Cost-Effectiveness: While not compromising on essential features, the solution should fit within the organisation's budget, considering both upfront costs and ongoing maintenance.

Process and Procedures

  1. Alerts to Policy violations
  2. Alerting for detected policy violations should be made in a timely manner
  3. The process should include alerting the manager of the staff member who was involved in the policy violation
  4. Assessment and Definition of Risks:
  5. Identify the potential insider threats specific to your organisation.
  6. Assess the current state of the internal security landscape.
  7. Define the specific risks that pertain to critical data, assets, and intellectual property.
  8. Development of Policies and Procedures:
  9. Develop clear policies that outline acceptable and unacceptable behaviours.
  10. Define procedures for reporting and responding to suspicious activity.
  11. Create guidelines for data access and sharing within the organisation.
  12. Integration with Existing Systems:
  13. Your insider threat program should align with existing security measures and technologies, such as your SaaS platform designed to detect data leakage.
  14. Identify gaps and determine what additional tools or technologies may be needed.
  15. Training and Awareness:
  16. Implement a comprehensive training program to educate employees about the risks and their role in preventing them.
  17. Build awareness through ongoing communication and reminders.
  18. Incident Response Planning:
  19. Create a detailed incident response plan that includes a clear escalation path and assigns roles and responsibilities.
  20. Determine how incidents will be investigated, potentially leveraging your expertise in digital forensics.
  21. Auditing and Review:
  22. Conduct regular audits to ensure that the policies and procedures are being followed.
  23. Continuously review the effectiveness of the insider risk program, making adjustments as needed.
  24. Legal and Regulatory Compliance:
  25. Ensure that all processes are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations related to privacy, data protection, and employment rights.
  26. Cultural Considerations:
  27. Build a culture of trust and responsibility where employees understand the importance of protecting the organisation’s assets.
  28. Promote an environment where employees feel comfortable reporting concerns without fear of retaliation.
  29. Integration with Overall Risk Management Strategy:
  30. The insider risk program should be part of a broader risk management strategy, including alignment with data governance and other organisational policies.

Business Integration

  1. Assessment of Existing Infrastructure and Policies: Before implementing an insider risk program, it's crucial to understand the existing technology, data protection policies, and business processes. This lays the groundwork for how the program will be integrated into the current ecosystem.
  2. Alignment with Business Objectives: The insider risk program should align with the overall business strategy and goals. It should be tailored to the specific needs and risks faced by the organisation to ensure relevance and effectiveness.
  3. Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Depending on the jurisdiction and industry, there may be specific laws and regulations that must be adhered to. This includes privacy laws that govern how employee information is handled.
  4. Cross-Departmental Collaboration: Implementing an insider risk program requires collaboration across various departments, including IT, HR, legal, and others. Establishing clear lines of communication and collaboration ensures a seamless integration process.
  5. Technology Integration: The choice of tools and technology (such as an insider threat SaaS platform) should fit the organisation's existing technology landscape. This involves considerations of scalability, interoperability, and security.
  6. Training and Awareness: Employees must be educated about the purpose and function of the insider risk program. This includes both understanding the risks that are being mitigated and the procedures that will be put in place.
  7. Clearly Defined Procedures and Protocols: Establishing clear procedures for detecting, investigating, and responding to insider threats is essential. This includes defining roles and responsibilities within the organisation.
  8. Ethical Considerations: It's paramount to balance security with respect for employee privacy and autonomy. A clear and transparent policy helps in maintaining this balance.
  9. Ongoing Evaluation and Improvement: An insider risk program must be regularly evaluated to ensure it remains effective and aligned with the evolving business environment. This requires periodic review and updating of policies, procedures, and tools.

Management Buy-In and Support: Support from top management ensures that the program receives the necessary resources and prioritisation. Leadership's endorsement emphasises the program's importance across the organisation.

Christopher McNaughton

Strategic Advisor, ShadowSight

Who is Christopher McNaughton

Chris is a proficient problem solver with a strategic aptitude for anticipating and addressing potential business issues, particularly in areas such as Insider Threat, Data Governance, Digital Forensics, Workplace Investigations, and Cyber Security. He thrives on turning intricate challenges into opportunities for increased efficiency, offering pragmatic solutions derived from a practical and realistic approach.

Starting his career as a law enforcement Detective, Chris transitioned to multinational organisations where he specialised and excelled in Cyber Security, proving his authority in the field. Even under demanding circumstances, his commitment to delivering exceptional results remains unwavering, underpinned by his extraordinary ability to understand both cyber and business problems swiftly, along with a deep emphasis on active listening.

What is ShadowSight

ShadowSight is an innovative insider risk staff monitoring tool that proactively guards your business against internal threats and safeguards vital data from unauthorised access and malicious activities. We offer a seamless integration with your current systems, boosting regulatory compliance while providing unparalleled visibility into non-compliant activities to reinforce a secure digital environment. By prioritising actionable intelligence, ShadowSight not only mitigates insider threats but also fosters a culture of proactive risk management, significantly simplifying your compliance process without the overwhelming burden of false positives.