Who is the Weakest Link in Your Data Protection Process

Companies are depending more and more on collecting, organizing, and storing digital data than ever before. Whether it’s customer data, employee data, or general business data, all of it may be very sensitive. As a result, cybersecurity is becoming more important than ever. Businesses of all sizes invest in things like firewalls, anti-virus software, cryptography, and intrusion detection. The theft or loss of data can be incredibly damaging — not only can it hurt your reputation, but it can also result in noncompliance with various data security regulations. However, it’s not a lack of cybersecurity that results in most data breaches — it’s actually employee negligence.

Employee Negligence Leads to Most Data Breaches

Studies have shown that data breaches and cybersecurity threats are most commonly caused by negligent employees. Just consider the following:

· 78 percent of businesses believe that endpoint security is caused mostly by employee negligence

· On average, organizations experience roughly 9.3 insider threats per month

· 90 percent of organizations face a minimum of one insider threat per month

· Back in 2003, it was estimated that American companies lost upwards of $40 million as a result of unauthorized use of computers by their employees

One of the main reasons that employee negligence most often leads to cyber threats and data breaches is due to a lack of awareness. Employees need to be trained on how to use a company’s computer system in a safe manner. They should also learn how to identify potential threats. Employees are often tricked into exposing a company’s system to potential hackers. Just take the recent Bangalore OTP theft as an example:

Scammers contacted employees and informed them that they were providing free upgrades on their bank cards. Many of these employees provided their card details as well as their OTP’s. In other cases, malicious links were sent to employees through SMS. These links contained social engineered malware that would transfer the employee’s OTP directly to the system of the scammer. This particular scam resulted in the loss of significant amounts of money.

Uninformed employees who may be on the more gullible side have been known to volunteer sensitive information to scam artists, including contractual information, source codes, client details, employee details, and other confidential information. Those perpetrating the crime will use the information they gather as corporate espionage, blackmail, ransom, to disrupt services, or to hurt the company’s reputation.

Preventing Employee Negligence

The best way to prevent employee negligence is to train them properly to identify potential scams. For example, simply giving them an idea of what malicious emails look like and instructing them not to open links in such emails can help prevent all kinds of security issues. In addition to focusing on awareness, training, and education, you should also invest in penetration testing and vulnerability assessment. Other areas to focus on include audits, behavioral analysis, people risk assessment, and more.

Businesses of all sizes depend on their computer systems and networks to organize and store potentially sensitive information. As such, data protection is incredibly important. However, one of the biggest risks that any company faces in terms of data protection comes from their own employees. Take steps to prevent employee negligence by raising awareness about cybersecurity and properly training your employees to identify potential risks and to avoid making poor decisions that could compromise your data’s security. For more advice about keeping your data secure or for information on how to safely and securely eliminate sensitive data, be sure to contact us at AccuShred today.