Insider Threat Awareness Month: How to Build Resilience


Insider Threat Awareness Month: How to Build Resilience

Resilience: The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

Resilience is a word that has been used often during the year 2020. It’s meaning has been shared in our homes, on advertisements, in public service announcements, and throughout companies' internal communications.

The month of September is Insider Threat Awareness Month — a month to educate and advocate for an organization's security. This year's theme is resilience.

MetroStar's Senior Facility Security Officer, Melissa, sees resilience as another way to build better decision-making skills and help people avoid situations where they could become a target of an exploitative opportunity.

In this case, an exploitative opportunity is also known as an insider threat. An insider threat is someone who has had access to internal documents and information and then, either knowingly or unknowing, leaks valuable information to outsiders.

Increasing Stress = Increasing Risk

"Personal and organizational resilience is more important than ever before, as our workforce contends with significant health, childcare, financial, and even socio-cultural challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic," Melissa said. "These extended periods of difficulty can cause great stress and uncertainty that, if unaddressed, can weaken resilience and increase risks associated with insider threats."

MetroStar has created helpful ways to spot an insider threat from an organization’s perception, but employees must also be mindful that they do not accidentally become a threat themselves.

An employee’s response to accumulated stress can be the difference between accidentally becoming a threat to the organization or being able to defend themselves. There are various technical ways to help avoid becoming an insider threat, but the mental aspect is the key educational focus for this year.

The Center for Development and Security Excellence (CDSE) shared eight ways to build resilience and help keep yourself from becoming an insider threat (see below).

insider threat graphic on ways to build resilience which include celebrate accomplishmenets, show yourself compassion, practice introspection, engage with community, find a spiritual purpose, maintain a work/life balance, stay energized and well rested, take care of emotional and physical health

Building Resilience

In addition to the CDSE's advice, Melissa says there are other ways an individual can build mental resilience. Melissa recommends practicing yoga, doing light exercise daily, and scheduling socially distant engagements.

An organization can also help create employee resilience by focusing on mental health check-ins/programs, legal assistance, appreciation posts, and virtual happy hours.

Taking the initiative to focus on being fulfilled, despite a stressful environment, will help employees stay alert to threats and keep an organization safe.

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