It’s true that human resource is the most valuable asset most businesses have. Unfortunately, this resource is somewhat of a double-edged sword in that it increases the risk of an organization being affected by a data breach. In fact, 90% of data breaches spawn from some form of human error, according to HR Dive.
Whether intentional or unintentional errors, any ignorance when it comes to cybersecurity can lead to serious operational challenges for your organization. All hands have to be on deck to achieve optimal security, instead of the role being confined only to the IT department. The trick is to ensure that there is enough security awareness organization-wide to prevent these errors from leading to unimaginable losses.
Here is why employees ignore security rules and what to do about it:
Why Employees Ignore Security Guidelines
You may have state of the art security strategies and technologies such as logging servers in place, but as long as they impeded employee productivity, they will be ignored. The modern-day employee is looking for the simplest way to achieve their goals, and having security activities that make it tough will only expose your organization to some losses. Additionally, you may not have briefed employees on how you expect them to behave.
While there are instances that you might have done so, the rules will be worthless if no one is looking to reinforce them. Employees will use restricted networks to access company data as long as they know that there are no repercussions. Simply put, rules have to be reinforced through detailed consequences of breaking them.
Start By Developing a Security Strategy
What vulnerable data needs to be protected and how will this be achieved? Both questions should be answered in your security strategy. Start by taking inventory of the sensitive data that needs to remain confidential and take into account the threats that exist.
Through a well-informed threat intelligence policy, you can determine the best tools to use in keeping threats away from your IT assets as well as identifying vulnerabilities as soon as they arise. The next step is to ensure that employees understand your security strategy and can champion it.
Commit To Employee Training
Security training is not a one-time activity and should be done every once in a while to inform employees of any changes in the threat landscape. Hackers will forever be looking for ways to beef up their tactics which makes constant training a must. Training should be done at every level.
While you might think that a top security officer or a business executive is safe, you will be surprised by how easily criminals can use simple techniques such as phishing to gain access to company details. Instead of making the training sessions generalized, touch on the nitty-gritty details of the ordinary day of the people being trained. If an accountant is trained on avoiding common quickbook security scams, it will be easier for them to champion security.
Security Should Be By Design
Security should by no means be regarded as an afterthought but as part of the design. Whether you are introducing software into your organization or introducing a new activity, it only makes sense to do it with security in mind. Often, when security is an afterthought, it tends to impede productivity.
For instance, you should assess the security requirements for outsourcing procurement to have complete visibility of your sensitive data. This helps prevent intrusions from third party access proactively.
Security can only be optimally achieved as long as everyone in your organization is on the same page. Human error has to be eliminated, and contextual training is the key to achieving this. Consider the tips above to encourage security awareness in your workforce.