Cyber attacks on your business may seem like an impossibility to you, but according to the recent wave of cybersecurity threats, no business is a hundred percent protected. When we picture a security breach, we inadvertently think of malicious hackers in some obscure part of the world, trying to exploit business data. In reality, that’s not always the case.
In fact, the biggest threat posed to your company’s digital security is right in front of you – your employees. From accidentally opening malicious emails to accessing confidential information on unprotected devices or exploiting the company’s information for personal gains, employees might be the weakest link in your chain.
Ways in Which Employees Can Compromise your Security
May it be negligence or malicious intent, employees are putting your business at risk in more ways than one, without you even realizing it. According to surveys, a large percent of security breaches occur due to internal cyber attacks. Below are some ways in which employees can intentionally or unintentionally be compromising the security of your business.
Misuse of Work Devices
Work devices carry sensitive information and are meant to be used for business purposes only. Unsurprisingly, employees often blur the lines between business and pleasure. Practices, like visiting shady websites full of malware or using social media, can make work devices vulnerable to breaches, which could easily compromise your data.
Opening phishing emails is pure human error and it is considered as the most common security threat by most businesses. While you can implement good security strategies, you can’t always keep a check on what kind of emails your employees are opening. Phishing emails are cleverly disguised as genuine ones to increase click-ability. Any employee could unknowingly fall prey to it and give malicious intruders free rein of your data.
Sensitive Information on Personal Devices
Transferring sensitive information to personal devices such as USBs, Smartphones or tablets is calling for serious trouble. These devices are not in the control of your company or IT security team and are even more vulnerable to security risk. Not only can employees later use it to cause serious harm, but it can also get in the hands of external cyber attackers.
Using Cloud Services
Employees are increasingly switching to more convenient and flexible options to increase work productivity. Some of these options might not be too secure at all. Cloud services such as DropBox and iCloud are widely used among employees, but the sinister truth is that they are not at all safe to house your critical business data.
Internal Data Theft
Not all security risks posed by employees are unintentional. While there may be employees with principles, there are also ones with self-serving agendas. Once these employees get a hold of some useful data, they can easily transfer it and use it in their next workplace to cause serious harm.
If you think your security policies for employees are a little too lax, then you could be preparing yourself for a major security setback. As technology evolves rapidly, security strategies need to keep up in order to avoid devastating data losses which are a stark reality in today’s digital world.