When employees have sufficient security benefits on their side, they have some guidance for how to act after a breach. This can be greatly assuring in the wake of a troubling event, but there are also certain behaviors that may make a worker more of a target. There are currently many different threats out there, so keeping employee behaviors in mind can help identify the ones that can be harmful.
Even if they know these actions are wrong, employees will need to re-educate themselves so they make strong decisions in 2017. Adding security and protection benefits as part of standard perks for the job can go along with better awareness to confound possible criminals.
These following behaviors, in particular, could be signs of trouble:
- Lack of knowledge: Workers who don't know about the risks of cybersecurity or can't distinguish between public and private data are a clear hazard for exposure. If so, they can make a mistake that puts company information out there for exploitation, or place it on their own personal computers or cloud accounts, which may be more vulnerable to hacking attempts.
- Lack of internal communication: If there is no communal understanding of best practices, it's also easier for workers to make bad decisions. An employee who doesn't interact with the IT department or other important staff about security could be more of a liability for a business. Your company also needs to know if an employee is installing disreputable apps or doing other things which may pose a risk, and communication may help prevent some of these actions.
- Not watching for intentional actions: It's a mistake to assume that cybersecurity problems will always come from the outside, as this Entrepreneur article noted. Employees and executives should keep an eye out for signs of suspicious activity. With a business culture that's more attentive to security risks, all workers could be more helpful in determining possible issues. Employees-turned criminals can try to exploit their connections by accessing files for their own or other's gains.
- Shared accounts and unoriginal passwords: Employees at all level of a corporation sometimes struggle with making passwords difficult enough to guess. Gemalto recently announced that 90 percent of IT professionals said they were worried about employees sharing passwords between personal and work credentials, based on results of a study showing concern about the overlap. For businesses, circulating the same passwords over and over can be dangerous as this makes accounts easier to hack. Using the same shared accounts can also be a possible risk. The rights of access also need to be updated as turnover occurs, so former employees aren't able to view or download important documents after they've left.
- Use of personal accounts and devices: It may be easy to use existing online accounts and personal devices to get work done, but that doesn't mean it's the best choice for employers wary of security risks, as the same Entrepreneur piece pointed out. Compounding the problem is the way businesses and consumers are likely using similar services, such as cloud services and email providers. Even if a worker and a business as a whole both decide to use these programs, it's important to set up separate accounts to create the necessary divide. This might not be enough, though, since phishing scams and other email-based tactics can still affect an employee's contacts. In some cases, the issue may be employer access, but in others the responsibility falls to the employee to make sure they aren't leaving ways for spammers to target work contacts, even in separate accounts. Personal devices may also run applications that counter the company's policies, so there needs to be clear definition of policies and storage of sensitive data.
For more ways to help your employees stay protected when there's a data breach, consider adding identity theft protection to your employee benefits package. With a wider understanding of security and protection, employees could feel and react better to security measures in the office if they company is help protect them outside of work as well. Identity Guard Business Solutions can help you build protection into your employee benefits.