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How Employers Combat Security Risks With Surveillance

Businesses face security threats on all fronts, from cyberattacks to workplace violence, but many are beginning to turn to methods of surveillance to curb the ever-growing risk posed by insider threats.

As The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday (Sept. 29), the number of employers keeping a closer eye on the behaviors of their employees is steadily increasing.

This form of oversight can include preventive measures such as monitoring phone calls, criminal background checks and even keeping an eye on when and how employees access internal systems.

NASDAQ’s recently released Global Compliance Survey found that 47 percent of professionals working in the financial services industry predicted the largest share of their budgets would be put towards surveillance technology.

“We need to know who people are in this world, who they are affiliated with and if they are properly trained and skilled to perform the tasks they are being paid for,” Dan Krantz, CEO at Real-Time Technology Group, told WSJ. The company monitors more than 30,000 workers who request access to secured areas.

“If you go out and get a ticket for jaywalking, we don’t care. We care if you’re a felon,” Krantz explained. “If you’re working in financial markets, we may want to know about liens, judgments, civil actions that could indicate someone is in financial trouble and more likely to do something wrong.”

Employers are not the only ones taking notice of potential threats that lie within a business’ workforce.

The Insider Threat Report, released earlier this year, is based on the insights of over 500 cybersecurity professionals and explores the efforts being made to prevent, detect and remediate insider threats.

According to the report, 62 percent of respondents said the number of instances surrounding insider threats have increased over the last 12 months. Despite this, the study still found less than 50 percent of organizations have the right controls in place to prevent insider attacks.

The report further discusses which user categories represent the largest threat, the most vulnerable applications and data, common launch points for attacks, budget trends and more, the release said.

These types of threats are usually posed by privileged users, such as system administrators, database administrators and managers, who have access to sensitive company information.

Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents said these privileged users represent the biggest risk to organizations, closely followed by contractors and consultants (48 percent) and then regular employees (46 percent).

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