For many business owners and managers, the idea of cybersecurity threats conjures up images of shadowy hackers from outside of your organization. However, often the most serious cybersecurity threats that an organization faces come from the inside, and not all of them are malicious. Simple things like carelessness, lack of training, and poor security protocols can all contribute to security breaches. Take a look at some common security obstacles and how you can overcome them.
Security is Everyone’s Job
It isn’t just IT employees who need to understand cybersecurity. Non-IT employees may be targets for those who want to breach your network.
It’s not uncommon for employees to believe that the job of maintaining cybersecurity is one that is the sole responsibility of the IT team. However, there are a number of different ways that individual employees can compromise security – for example, by creating easily guessable passwords, downloading potentially dangerous files, and accessing personal email or insecure websites on work devices.
Employees can be taught to avoid these and other cybersecurity risks, but first, they need to understand that avoiding cybersecurity risks is part of their responsibility as employees. Most people have heard the saying that “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” Even if you have a great IT team, each individual employee who accesses your network is part of the chain, and each has the potential to be the weak link. It’s important for your employees to understand that their actions can have serious consequences for the whole company.
Training Should Be Ongoing
Employees who are not IT experts may not automatically understand best security practices. In-depth training can help.
Training goes hand-in-hand with taking responsibility for cybersecurity. Without proper training, even employees who mean well and intend to be responsible can make dangerous mistakes. It can help to have clear policies that outline proper security measures that all employees are expected to adhere to and to hold regular training sessions to help employees understand how to follow the policies correctly.
Monitoring Can Prevent Breaches
Even with clear policies and proper training, mistakes can happen. And what’s more, there remains the possibility of malicious cybersecurity breaches. Disgruntled employees have been known to steal data or compromise security for their own reasons, for example.
Employee monitoring plays an important role in both preventing cybersecurity breaches and minimizing the damage if they do happen. Computer monitoring software can quickly alert you if an employee tries to access something that they shouldn’t have access to, or if their downloading or printing activity is unusual – common signs that someone is trying to compromise your data from within. Knowing that employee monitoring systems are in place may also act as a deterrent – if employees know that they’re likely to be caught, they’re less likely to risk malicious activity.
Monitoring can also alert you to employees who may need retraining or additional training in order to improve their security practices. Sometimes employees are not acting maliciously, but need extra help to unlearn bad habits or remember new information. Monitoring software can give you the information you need to head off security risks before they become serious and identify employees who need additional help.