The amount of risk that an employee can generate is significant to the reputation of the company. Employees can be easily lured through social engineering tactics when conned by a cyber-thief eager to gain access into an online account. Many employees simply ignore the strong company policies by failing to transmit sensitive company data through encryption technology. Another failing might be downloading and installing unauthorized harmful software that could easily penetrate or corrupt the entire IT system.
Even companies that believe they are well protected might still be open to substantial risk. Research indicates that nearly 6 in 10 enterprises experienced a security breach that was a direct result of human error inside the company. That number is up from 4 in 10 companies being breached just a few years ago.
Uneducated on Security Standards
Other research indicates that over 50% of all employees are willing to admit they know very little about the ways to prevent any intruding outsider from gaining access and breaching the system. Only 40% of all employees are willing to admit they are fairly knowledgeable about how hackers can make their way into the system, even though they would not know how to stop an inadvertent breach. Less than 10% feel confident in understanding how to prevent a security breach, which is hardly a comforting thought to any company that is worried about securing their data.
Even with these high numbers, many businesses fail to provide the education required to keep their employees well informed on security protocols. Without proper education, it is challenging to suggest that somehow incompetency of the employee is to blame for the problem. It is truly the responsibility of the higher-ups along with the IT department to develop strict protocols and standards for creating, monitoring, maintaining and utilizing the best safeguard standards in protecting the company’s crucial, confidential data.
Developing Strict Protocols
Companies that have proven success in developing strict protocols follow basic techniques in evaluating their security training program. Utilizing the results of their evaluations they can improve their education strategies and make a real difference in increasing the security level in the company. These tactics include:
- A Simple Test – Many companies provide IT awareness training and education as part of an employee’s orientation program. However they rarely broach the subject again until a major mishap. Before developing an effective training program, it is important to understand what every employee needs to learn. By providing a simple test, the company can build an effective training program based on the immediate needs of developing better safeguards in the system.
- Checking What They Do – Assessing vulnerability within the organization is not just determined on what an employee knows, but what he or she does. Specific harmful actions might include passwords written on sticky notes attached to the sides of monitors. It may be sharing passwords among employees, or passwords built on family member names, or other easy-to-guess information.
- Making Security Personal – Teaching employees effective security protocols that work well in their personal life is a simple way to teach an effective tool for work. The relationship between work and home can be enhanced by making security levels better in their home life too.
- Implementing Consequences – Many companies incorporate a “Recommendation of the Day” strategy for utilizing the best practices at work. Employees are required to take a simple test based on the day’s recommendation. Employees that fail more than they succeed will have their performance evaluated with substantial consequences. By evaluating poor performance on security issues, companies can increase the level of security within their ranks by focusing on key problems.
- Recognizing the Limits of Training – Education and training only go so far. The company needs to take a proactive approach in creating a failsafe system by providing a higher level of security apart from the employees. Adding multi-factor authentication protocol adds an additional layer of safeguarding that requires additional input over the traditional username/password combinations.
Just as there is no magic crystal ball to help determine the problems of security at the employee level, there is also no silver bullet in totally preventing cyber-attacks. Creating a multilevel approach seems to work best by incorporating an effective training program along with automated effective security multi-factor authentication solutions.