Financial Distress, A Key Motivation And Likelihood To Commit Insider HARM

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

-Mike Tyson

 With Coronavirus, we all just got punched in the face. Plans you previously made now may not apply.

There is no denying, these are overwhelming times for all of us. Stress, burnout, and anxiety are at a global high, locking many of us out of the flow.

The Coronavirus outbreak, it’s what every news outlet and people are talking about.  The outbreak is moving quickly, and businesses are having to react and adapt in real-time, having had no ability to plan for the depth of the economic slowdown or even shutdown.

Those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are facing “catastrophic disruption” and “high levels of financial stress”.

Example: Qantas, the largest Australian airline, has stood down 20,000 workers without pay in order to survive the most significant crisis aviation has ever been through.

But, let’s not kid ourselves, other industries are severely affected too.

When consumers stay home, businesses lose revenue and lay off workers, and unemployment levels rise sharply.

Business investment contracts and corporate bankruptcies rise, putting significant pressure on the banking and financial system and then the Government.

It is a daunting time for organisations around the world, assessing the impacts on their businesses.

It will become increasingly difficult if not impossible, to pay creditors or employees on time for if the country decides to lock itself down for a period of two months or more as what happened in China.

In these extremely challenging times, businesses and employees will know that “cash is king”.

In times of severe stress, human beings will revert to the most fundamental instincts – “survival”, and consequently logic thoughts will be thrown out of the window.

If people are fighting over toilet paper in the isles of supermarkets, what would they do in times of financial distress?

In this pandemic times, some individuals might lash out at the organisation, the project, at other individuals, as a result of being severely distraught.

If it is becoming increasingly difficult for an employee to pay their creditors, the employee may resort in findings ways to relieve this pressure.

Like a drug addict that requires to pursue their next hit, an employee that is being faced with severe money problems, mortgage forclosure may seek to theft and threats upon their current business.

What can organisations do?

Usually, I would say  – “Organisations should carefully watch for employee financial red flags if noticeable – changes in language, communication patterns, behaviour and performance to indicate personal stress.”

Unfortunately, these are not normal times. The risks of employee misbehaviour and potentially causing harm in times of financial stress increases significantly.  Yet, the ability for the organisation to detect employee behaviour is made that much more difficult given the employee is either working from home or suspended.

Chances of preventing insider incidents successfully from taking place diminish as the threat of Coronavirus spreads. Chances of stopping insider harm significantly diminish as employees look for ways to survive.


What Can You Do Moving Forwards?

Effective measures against insider risks as a result of increasing global uncertainty:

  • Enable user activity monitoring so that you understand what actions users might place your organisation at risk.
  • Employ positive deterrence messages. In these trying times, engender positive employee engagement. Help them to act in the best interest of the organisation.
  • Most importantly, increase your communication to all of your staff with positive messages, support and encouragement. Employees need to feel that they are safe and cared for.


How Can We Help you?

Interested in identifying risky behaviour by your employee and how your organisation can increase its effectiveness to prevent, detect, and respond to insider threats in these trying times, then get in touch with Naked Insider. We can specifically implement a User Activity Monitoring Program to provide you with the visibility of whether your employees, contractors or any other insiders are misbehaving or placing your organisation at risk.  

Contact us by filling out the form of the Naked Insider website:

What is User Activity Monitoring?

User activity monitoring is the technical capability to observe and record the actions and activities of an individual, at any time, on any device accessing organisation systems and applications. It has the ability to identify which user is presenting some level of risk and why.