While data breaches are known to be caused by cybercriminals who deliberately attempt to break into a system, we actually have human error to thank. In fact, employee negligence brought about by carelessness or lack of knowledge is why cybercriminals choose to resort to trickery. It simply makes it easier for them to infiltrate a system without using complex methods.
Additionally, because of improved forensic technologies such as intrusion detection and network monitoring, breaching a system's defenses is now tougher for cybercriminals. It is the new data security battlefront and organizations must invest in robust security and train employees according to company best practices.
Let’s take a look at some common mistakes employees make:
Being negligent with emails – Carelessly opening suspicious emails that contain malware frequently lead them to phishing websites.
Using weak passwords – Short, repetitive, and exposed passwords are easily and commonly exploited by hackers.
Falling for social engineering tactics – Without proper training and education, employees could be easily duped by fraudsters who send scams via spam emails.
Having poor backup practices – Failing to back up company data increases security risks, downtime, and losses incurred when a business suffers an attack.
Being careless with their mobile devices – With the bring your own device (BYOD) trend, employees can take work home on their mobile devices. Because these devices are easily lost or stolen, having many employees access company data on their phones puts organizations at risk.
Connecting to unsecured public networks – This allows cybercriminals to execute man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks wherein they capture company data from traffic between your network and your employee's device.
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One way to ensure security is to understand every facet of your system. Remember that a proper system is like a house of cards — it only takes one questionable connection or human error to topple your network and cause a data breach. You must address this challenge by dedicating proper training for your employees. Start by securing your employees’ devices. Here are some tips for device management, threat detection, and damage mitigation:
Limit permissions – Make sure your employees aren’t installing problematic software or apps on organization-owned devices. For staff-owned devices, use mobile management software and train employees so they can adopt and apply data security best practices.
Protect and segment your network – Make sure to isolate devices from the main network to mitigate potential damage in case of a data breach. Network segmentation will protect your organization’s most sensitive data from being stolen via an employee’s compromised device.
Bridge the training gap – Inadvertently, your staff members are the gatekeepers of your data, so establishing proper and regular training for them is necessary. Education and awareness should be dynamic and ongoing to foster a company culture of good security practices. Make sure to teach them about security measures like remote wiping a lost or stolen device, complying with data regulations, and properly notifying IT personnel of suspected security risks and threats.
When it comes to device and employee management, you’ll need the right resource management. Call us today and we’ll help you set up the right defense for your business.