Employees, the weakest link in Data Security: Tips that will help you
The biggest threat in data security comes from within. It is the employees who increase the chance of data leaks. Unintentional or not. And that is difficult to keep control of: machines in work processes can be predicted often. With humans, however, it’s a different case. Therefore, 5 tips that will help you to limit the chance of human error.
External factors affect employees' output
We may all have had one of those days: you are just a little less sharp and are more likely to make mistakes. This can be due to fatigue or perhaps pressure on the work floor. In many cases this doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem. It will be, for example, when it comes to the exchange of sensitive information with the wrong person.
Just think of this: with an x number of employees within your organization, there is no way you can keep control of what information is leaving the company. It may be that your colleague from the administration has had a bad night's sleep, which makes it more likely to add the wrong recipient to an e-mail message. Or another colleague who accidentally shares information with a relation, who is not authorized to view this information.
To avoid chances of human error, we have 5 tips which could help you and your team:
Create a policy for information sharingOne of the reasons why information is unlawfully shared is because people often don’t know what can and can’t be shared. And if this gets stuck in the middle, we often choose to do it, because “it is not indicated anywhere”. A policy allows you to maintain some degree of control over what is exchanged through the organization.
Create a secure working environment and keep your employees informedHow do you get the team as excited about data security as you are yourself? By involving your employees. And by that we mean that data security should be perceived as just as important as productivity and performance: in the end, it all comes together. If this doesn’t happen, you are conveying the message that data security is not so important after all.
Ensure a healthy workload
We have already mentioned it: but tired employees or those with too much work are more likely to make mistakes when the opportunity arises. Sending a simple e-mail can already pose a great risk. And that is certainly the case with a phishing e-mail: if you are in a hurry and are not paying attention, you may open the wrong e-mail.
Make your employees aware of the consequences of any mistakes
Training in data security sometimes seems like an extra thingd you could do, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is important for your employees to know the consequences of certain actions. And in particular the scale and magnitude of the impact it can have on business operations.
In addition, it is important as an organization to know who has been trained, what the level of knowledge is and when to update if it appears that employees are losing focus.
Go for security that matches the different personalitiesYes, it sounds time consuming. It will be in the beginning, but you will reap the benefits as an organization later on.
Example: employees who are involved a lot with social media will be more likely to share company information with the outside world. Think of exciting news from a happening within the organization. These employees will therefore handle sensitive data differently than colleagues who are closer to the compliance area.
The fact remains that people can’t always be checked – and it’s something you rather not do. On the contrary: in many cases we are often more unpredictable than we think. Nevertheless, it is good for an organization to know that small risks can be limited with little effort. We just need to know where to start!
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