Employee Negligence Tops Information Security Risk to Business

Employee working on a computer.

You may think that your information is secure. You have dedicated programs for security, company policies on technology and data, and feel like you’ve done all you can. In reality, you are putting a good portion of your cybersecurity into the hands of your employees, which may be the biggest risk of all.

Employees as a Security Risk

Approximately one-third of employees admit to potentially risky behavior at work. Small bad habits can pose a much bigger security risk and add up to something that could cost your business both financially and in reputation. When looking at data breaches, employee negligence, whether accidental or by knowingly engaging in risky behavior, is often the main cause. The risk of a data breach is considerably higher when employees are working off-site. Bad habits are more easily missed when out of the office, and those bad habits are a huge security risk for businesses. Whether falling for a phishing email, sending information to the wrong person accidentally, or an employee thinking they have the right to take the data with them to a new job.
The most concerning part of this risk is that it is not limited to lower-level employees. Often directors and supervisors cause a security issue by mishandling company data.

Cyber Security Best Practices

One of the first steps is to let your employees know that cybersecurity is important to your organization. Train your staff on information security policies and procedures. This training should include advising employees to keep sensitive information out of sight when working in a public space, avoiding public Wi-Fi, avoid sharing company issued electronics with family or friends, keeping these devices away from children, being on the lookout for fraudulent emails, and identifying a potential threat and reporting it to the right person. All employees of all levels need to be made aware of the risks and their responsibilities in taking the training and company policies seriously. Simple anti-virus software and email encryption may help.
Once a breach has been discovered, taking steps to remedy the situation, understanding how it happened, and taking the proactive measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again are a strong part of cyber security best practices.

Importance of the IT Manager

IT managers are your organization’s best expert on cybersecurity detection, protection, response, and recovery. The responsibilities will vary based on the size and scope of your company, and larger companies may find the need to split the position, separating the responsibilities of the technical security manager and the program security manager. However, this crucial role encompasses many key responsibilities to keep you safe, including monitoring all operations, maintaining security tools and technology, monitoring compliance from both vendors and employees, implementing new technology, putting together the security incident response procedures, and ensuring that cybersecurity stays on everyone’s radar. The IT manager takes on a big responsibility in making sure that employees understand the importance of compliance.

Data breaches from employees are a concern for nearly all businesses and organizations. It can be difficult to think that those you trust most can be your downfall but being aware of the risks and vigilant about protecting your security is important. We can help. Contact AccuShred to talk about your current data security measures and find out ways to increase that security with our proprietary assessment. It’s easy to further safeguard your company’s data, and we can show you how.