When we think of insider threat, our imaginations often conjure images of an employee sneaking files out of guarded government buildings or disgruntled former workers spilling corporate secrets. Yet a rash of incidents in the past few years have shown that organizations are not the only victims, and insider threats can originate at home. 

Prominent and high-net-worth individuals are frequently victimized by insider threats originating in their own home which can lead to theft of valuable personal and corporate property and significant reputational damage. 

  • In 2021, actor Kevin Hart’s personal shopper, Dylan Syer, was arrested and charged for using the actor’s credit cards to purchase luxury goods worth $1.2 million, according to multiple press reports. Between October 2017 and February 2019, Syer used the actor’s credit card to purchase luxury items. He also used Mr. Hart’s business credit card account to transfer money into his own checking account. 
  • In late 2020, a group of burglars known as the “acrobat thieves” committed a series of robberies against wealthy individuals in Milan, Italy. The group examined high-net worth individual’s social media accounts to find geotagged locations and used posted photos to identify entry points within their homes. The group stole over two hundred thousand dollars worth of possessions before they were caught in early 2021. 

 

Types of Insider Threats at Home

Insider threat incidents have increased 44 percent over the past two years, with costs up more than a third to $15.38 million per incident. Anyone who has even a modicum of access to a prominent individual’s finances, living space, and confidential information can become an insider threat. Two main types of insider threat exist for high-net-worth individuals and families: negligent and malicious. 

  • Negligent insiders pose an unintentional threat, usually due to human error. For example, a family member may send an email with sensitive information to the wrong person, or a household employee may complain to a friend about how difficult it is to clean a high-value painting, only for that friend to tell a nefarious character. These mistakes happen more often than you may think. In 2021, 56 percent of insider threat security incidents were caused by negligent or careless insiders with an average cost of $484,931 per incident. 
  • Malicious insiders often abuse their access for personal gains or to seek revenge. For instance, a scorned friend may post confidential details about your company on social media or a contractor may later sell information about high value assets in your home. In 2021, malicious or criminal insiders were involved in 26 percent of incidents with an average cost of $648,062 per incident. 

These issues are compounded by the recent surge of companies transitioning to work from home. This can create more instances in which sensitive data is readily accessible around the home, household employees overhearing private meetings, and family members mistakenly sending corporate information to incorrect email addresses on shared devices. 

 

How Concentric Can Help

Concentric specializes in proactive security intelligence measures to identify insider threats before they occur, and can provide protective mitigative solutions if they do occur. These services are built around core Concentric strengths to keep you safe. Reach out to our team to discuss any of the following: 

  • Risk Assessments to identify assets and insider threat risks;
  • Executive Protection agents to protect assets; 
  • Training for employees and family members to identify and protect themselves from insider threats; 
  • Active Monitoring to identify and escalate immediate threats;
  • Daily Reporting to monitor security concerns for family members. 

You can implement some of the following recommendations to immediately protect yourself, your family and business from insider threats originating at home:

  • Position your valuables so they cannot be viewed by visitors (i.e. place high-value art so it cannot be viewed through windows or entryways).
  • Make sure you and your family members are educated on the dangers and signs of potential insider threats.
  • Keep an open line of communication between you and your family members and employees so they feel comfortable reporting signs of suspicious behavior.
  • Employ a third-party security firm to conduct periodic vetting of household employees.

 

Author: Timothy Davis, Concentric’s Intelligence Analyst, Global Intelligence