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Are the Biggest Cyber Security Risks Your Employees?
It's true - studies show that within businesses, the biggest cyber security risks come from those employed. What can you do to protect your business? Read on.
We all want to believe that our employees are honest, hardworking people who would do nothing to hurt our company. But the truth is, whether, by malice or accident, the biggest cyber security risks are almost always going to be your employees, and it’s getting increasingly difficult to ignore the string of high-profile cyber-attacks that are now a regular occurrence.
Here’s what you can do about it.
1. Develop responsive IT structures and teams
One of the most common complaints about IT security and employees is that IT moves too slowly for them to do their jobs effectively. Particularly with millennials and digital natives enter the workforce and their familiarity with cloud-based computing, the temptation is to install and use secure company resources and do work with insecure tools, devices, products, and services.
What’s more, staff members (who, remember just want to do their job AND are under pressure to do more less using IT) often feel that the approvals process with the IT staff is just too slow.
The result? It becomes impossible for IT to even know where their resource should be spent, let alone the most efficient way to spend them.
Fortunately, there’s a solution that can work wonders. A lot of cloud applications are, in fact, secure enough to mitigate any cyber security risks.
The only problem is that IT needs to know about them ahead of time. So the best way to help yourself is to make sure that your IT team is fully integrated and extremely responsive to new application requests.
If you have more time and resources available, it pays to build your IT infrastructure so that you can support at least some cloud SaaS products, so you can say yes at least some of the time.
2. Explain the cyber security risks associated with common behaviors
Did you know that many workers use the same password for everything? OR write down their passwords and stick them in a notebook, on their computers or (worse) store them in a Word file on their computer?
And this sort of behavior that creates cyber security risks isn’t exactly difficult to understand. Workers are busy, and they don’t want to spend time doing stuff like double logins or to change their passwords all the time (or trying to remember what their passwords are!)
But if IT teams make an effort to explain why and create awareness about the very real risk of cyber security risks, then people are a lot more likely to comply with more stringent security requirements. Remember: even though you can dictate security policy, it’s a lot more effective if everyone is actually on board rather than just going through the motions.
3. Focus your security energy where it’s needed most
Finally, the best thing you can do for your security and the keeping your network secure from your employees is to focus your energy where it’s most needed. Building MORE security around set pieces of your network and letting most of the network stay at a more functional level will increase your safety and reduce the friction between the IT teams and employees.
This compromise means that you get a high level of security, and they get to do their jobs faster and easier.
Getting your team to take cyber security risks seriously doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. By making small changes, you can shift how your employees think about security, and thus make your whole network safer.
Steve E. Driz, I.S.P., ITCP