Many employees take the topic of cybersecurity too lightly, thinking that a breach will never affect them or be put in motion because of their carelessness. This attitude of negligence has led to massively negative consequences for companies, employees, and customers. Many cases of vulnerability are the result of employees being the weakest link in an organization.
Companies are now asking the critical question: What can we do to inform our employees of their role in fighting cybercrime? This is a good question and one that demands an answer. A recent study of 5000 businesses shed some light on the answer. Just 52% of businesses surveyed believed their employees would put them at risk for a cyber security breach.
The fear of being at risk for a breach from within an organization can be seen in the fact that the top three cybersecurity fears are related to employee behaviors. 47% worry about employees sharing data across mobile devices that is not appropriate. 46% fear employees will physically lose their mobile devices. And 44% fear employees use IT resources inappropriately.
Careless and uninformed employees have contributed to serious security breaches across almost every industry. But companies can do more to reduce the dangers they are exposed to and protect their data and systems from the inside out. Here are a few suggestions:
#1 It is no longer enough to have an IT security policy only. Policies aren’t designed to cover every risk and staff may be limited to enforce such policies. Instead of handing multipage documents chock full of technological terms that many employees don’t understand, train personnel on the importance of security and, if needed, bring in more experienced IT staff.
#2 Strike a balance between policy and employee engagement. If employees don’t feel like you are concerned about security enough to help them be concerned about it, they won’t be concerned about. Raise awareness by holding training sessions for employees even if cybersecurity isn’t related to their day to day job descriptions. Ensuring staff is trained is “the second most popular method of defense for businesses.”
#3 Make sure IT security teams are able to manage the corporate network. An overworked and overwhelmed IT security team is only going to leave small cracks open for massive data breaches. Ensure that the corporate network is both visible and manageable.
Security is a very real concern for every business. Preventing employee-related threats and breaches has never been more important than now.