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The Rising Threat from Insiders – Get Your House in Order

Client Alert

What is Insider Threat?

As its name implies, an ‘Insider Threat’ originates inside an organization. An ‘insider’ is any person who has or had authorized access to or knowledge of an organization’s resources, including personnel, facilities, information, equipment, networks, and systems. ‘Insider threat’ can manifest from malicious, complacent, negligent or unintentional acts that negatively affect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of the organization, its data, personnel, or facilities. Certainly, ‘Insider Threat’ can be an activity by a bad actor employee, but can also arise from an inadvertent or unknowing action inside an organization (such as an employee who unintentionally opens a phishing email or clicks on a malicious link).

Rising Frequency; Rising Costs.

Protecting against ‘Insider Threat’ is a data security concern for all organizations. The realities facing organizations today include:

  • The frequency and cost of preventing insider attacks is rising;
  • User negligence is the most common cause of a data breach; and
  • Insider threat deterrence must become a key element in a cybersecurity posture.

According to a 2020 study[1], the average global cost of ​insider threats​ rose by ​31% in two years and the frequency of these incidents spiked by ​47%​ in the same time period. The risk is also present for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs). While 72% of organizations reported an increase in insider attacks in 2020, 66% of key decision makers in SMBs do not think breaches are likely to occur. Only 14% of SMBs have any kind of breach defenses in place; the rest are vulnerable to potentially devastating cyberattacks[2]. While daunting, the reality of modern business dictates that companies of all sizes, in all industries, must be cognizant of cybersecurity issues and prepare accordingly.

How can your company guard against Insider Threat?

The following is a brief list of action items your company should implement to address ‘Insider Threat’:

  • Put it in writing – An organization’s security policy should include procedures to prevent and detect misuse of company resources, guidelines for conducting insider investigations, and the potential consequences to the individual. Written policies not only preserve continuity, but also clearly outline rules and expectations in the organization.
  • Train and educate – The Identity Management Institute states that employee education remains key to breach prevention, including cybersecurity awareness during onboarding and routine drills to practice attack and breach responses.
  • Dictate Acceptable Use – An organization should detail an organization’s rules and expectations regarding technology use. This includes considering acceptable behavior on networks and devices.
  • Be transparent about employee privacy expectations - Organizations need to balance reducing insider threats and protecting employee privacy. Communicate and educate employees regarding the security policy and IT rules. Explain the program's objectives, while training employees about their role in security.
  • Get Technical – Invest in IT and consult with legal and technical cybersecurity professionals to find a solution that works for your organization.

Prudent businesses will create and maintain written policies as it relates to cybersecurity and data protection. BMD can assist in crafting the policies and identifying proper security frameworks and connecting you with technical experts to implement. 

If you have any questions about whether your cybersecurity risks, and whether your business is protected, please contact BMD’s Cybersecurity Practice Leaders, Brandon Pauley at btpauley@bmdllc.com or Kyle Johnson at kajohnson@bmdllc.com.

[1] https://www.proofpoint.com/uk/resources/threat-reports/2020-cost-of-insider-threats and Cybersecurity Insiders’ 2020 Insider Threat Report.

[2] https://identitymanagementinstitute.org/government-cybersecurity-and-insider-threats/


Valley National Bank/Trulieve Loan: A Big Step Out of the Shadows

In a late December press release, Trulieve announced that it had secured a $71.5 million commercial bank loan. In addition to the amount of the loan, which may be the largest commercial bank loan to date to a cannabis company, the release prominently identified Valley Bank and featured both a quote from Valley’s Senior Vice President, John Myers, and a description of the Bank’s service platform and commitment to the cannabis industry.

The End of Non-Competes? The Impact It Will Have on the Healthcare Industry

On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced a proposed rule that, if enacted, will ban employers from entering into non-compete clauses with workers (the “Rule”), and the Rule would void existing non-compete agreements. In their Notice, the FTC stated that if the Rule were to go into effect, they estimate the overall earnings of employees in the United States could increase by $250 billion to $296 billion per year. The Rule would also require employers to rescind non-competes that they had already entered into with their workers. For purposes of the Rule, the FTC has defined “worker” to also include any employees, interns, volunteers, and contractors.”

2022 Healthcare Recap and 2023 Healthcare Check-Up

As the country begins to return to a new “normal” following the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many healthcare rules changing on both the federal and state levels as a result. Thus, it is important for healthcare providers and their employers to be aware of these changing rules, and any implications they may have on their practice. Look back on healthcare in 2022 and find a checklist for 2023.

Direct Support Professional Retention Payments

On December 15, the Ohio Senate and House passed House Bill 45, which authorizes the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), in conjunction with the county boards of developmental disabilities, to launch their initiative to issue retention payments to Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). These retention payments will be distributed quarterly to participating home and community-based waiver providers to address the workforce crisis in the direct provider sector. Governor DeWine needs to sign the Bill to begin the payments, but he is expected to do so by the end of 2022.

Real Estate Investors Position for 2023 Opportunities

Real estate investors weathered another year in a post-pandemic world, with the year closing with yet another interest rate increase coupled with both uncertainty and heightened interest carrying into 2023. Just last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate 0.50 percentage points, shifting the target range to 4.25% to 4.50%. The new level is the highest the fed funds rate has been since December 2007 and marks the seventh rate hike this year. So what does this mean to investors, brokers, lenders, and others in the real estate world? Read a few perspectives below from stakeholders familiar with our BMD clients and the markets in which they do business.