There were nearly 1,500 data breaches reported in the U.S. in 2019, which resulted in the exposure of over 164 million sensitive records. While it’s true that some of these attacks were carried out by external parties, many attacks were conducted by those inside the organization.
These are known as “insider attacks,” and they are a growing cause for concern among business owners everywhere. In fact, Verizon’s Data Breach Incident Report revealed that 74% of businesses feel vulnerable to insider threats because they aren’t sure how to prevent them.
Being proactive, rather than reactive, is the key to protecting your business and preventing insider attacks. But how can businesses predict when an insider attack may occur and who may carry it out? The answer is user behavior analytics.
As its name suggests, user behavior analytics involves analyzing the digital behavior of employees to identify suspicious activity that could indicate an insider threat.
Businesses can utilize user behavior analytics built into employee monitoring software to detect and respond to insider threats before they are able to carry out an attack.
Employee monitoring software is designed to track and record every move that your employees make on their devices. This software will record various types of digital activity, including:
As it records this information, it will also create a unique user profile for each of your employees. This user profile will define what “normal digital activity” is for that specific employee.
The software will continue to track and record each employee’s activity after this user profile has been created. As it does this, the software will utilize user behavior analytics to evaluate the employee’s activity and determine if anything is suspicious. Suspicious behavior is defined as any type of digital activity that falls outside of the employee’s “normal digital activity” in their user profile.
For example, say an employee never accesses files with sensitive data. But one day, this employee accesses a file with sensitive data and transfers its contents onto a USB device.
User behavior analytics software would immediately flag this activity as suspicious since it falls outside of the employee’s range of normal behavior. This means you would be immediately notified of the suspicious activity and given an opportunity to respond to it before it turned into a bigger issue.
There are various types of actions you can take if a valid threat is detected. For example, the software allows you to remotely lockdown a computer, retrieve files, delete files, or restrict a specific user’s activities or access. You can also use the software to track the device’s location, which can assist in the workplace and/or criminal investigation into the matter.
The three main features of user behavior analytics software are:
The first feature of user behavior analytics software is data collection. Employee monitoring software will track and record various types of digital activities so you know what your employees are doing on their company-owned devices at all times.
The second feature of user behavior analytics software is data analysis. The software will analyze the information that was collected on employees’ digital activities to identify suspicious activity and detect insider threats.
The software is also designed with a notification feature. If suspicious activity is detected, the software will immediately notify you so you can investigate the issue and determine whether or not it is a valid threat.
If you determine that the threat is valid, you can take immediate action to stop an imminent attack and protect your company’s sensitive data.
Every business—no matter the size or the industry—can benefit from utilizing user behavior analytics. Some of the many benefits of user behavior analytics include:
The main purpose of user behavior analytics is to detect insider threats within your organization. Being able to identify insider threats before they are able to carry out attacks is crucial.
Every insider attack could seriously harm your business’s reputation, damage your relationship with your customers, and cost thousands of dollars, which is why preventing these attacks is so important. This software can give you an opportunity to identify these risks early on and put measures in place to protect your sensitive data from an imminent attack.
The data that is collected by this software can make it easier to conduct workplace investigations.
For example, say the software helps you detect an insider threat who was preparing to carry out an attack in order to steal your company’s sensitive data. The data collected by this software could serve as evidence against the employee in a workplace and/or criminal investigation. You would have irrefutable evidence of the different digital activities that the employee engaged in while planning and preparing the attack.
Furthermore, you could analyze the data that was collected to determine if the insider was working alone or with other employees. This would make it much easier for your company to investigate insider threats and ensure that justice is served.
Businesses primarily use user behavior analytics to detect insider threats. However, this software can also help businesses identify employees that are becoming increasingly disengaged with their work.
For example, the software may be able to detect if an employee who is typically productive begins to spend most of their time at work on social media or other non-work-related websites.
Identifying this type of behavior early on gives management the opportunity to step in and provide this employee with the coaching and mentoring that they need to feel satisfied and engaged at work. By helping these employees, managers can improve their team’s productivity and morale.
User behavior analytics can help businesses detect potential violations of company policies, too. This is because an employee who engages in suspicious behavior is often violating one or more company policies.
For example, your company may prohibit employees from visiting certain websites at work. If an employee visits one of these websites, it may be flagged as suspicious activity, which means you will be notified of the company policy violation right away.
These are some of the many ways that businesses can benefit from installing employee monitoring software with user behavior analytics.
It’s never too early to take advantage of user behavior analytics in order to protect your business. Install InterGuard software to get the control and oversight that you need to monitor your employees and protect your company from insider threats.
Using InterGuard software is the most effective way to monitor, control, and respond to what your employees do on their company-owned devices. Start your free trial or take an online test drive of InterGuard to learn more about this innovative software and how it can help your business.