Here’s how to prevent internal security threats

What’s the one major security concern that most companies tend to overlook? Employees. In fact, most data breaches are the result of an internal hiccup.  Weak passwords.  Malicious emails.  Social engineering.  Loose lips.  It happens.  And it happens a lot. So how can you avoid enlarging the internal security threat that your employees naturally create?  […]

What’s the one major security concern that most companies tend to overlook?

Employees.

In fact, most data breaches are the result of an internal hiccup.  Weak passwords.  Malicious emails.  Social engineering.  Loose lips.  It happens.  And it happens a lot.

So how can you avoid enlarging the internal security threat that your employees naturally create?  You teach, train, and expect.

Teach

If your employees don’t know what the threats are or that they have the ability to prevent most of them, then you’re walking down a dangerous path.  You need to start with the basics—what is a virus?—and work your way up—what is social engineering?  Make sure they understand where the threats come from, why they are there, and how they plan to exploit your network.  Work this into your employee onboarding process and plan to spend a large chunk of time on it.  If you decide to skimp out on this part with a 1-page document and dictionary definitions, then you’ll regret it later on.

Train

Teaching is only just the beginning.  You need to proactively train each employee on online safety and security.  Training is an on-going process because the threats are constantly changing.  Take the time once a quarter to go through routine security procedures and new and upcoming threats.  The ‘how’ in all of this is vital to the success of your security strategy.  How do your employees prevent threats?  How do your employees secure their accounts?  How do your employees recognize social engineering?  If they don’t know how, then the security of your business data is at the mercy of luck.

Expect

Everyone should be held accountable for the security of their data and online accounts.  In other words, there should be a proper punishment attached to each security misdemeanor, and your employees should be well aware of the existence of these penalties.  They should feel apprehension when they open a suspicious-looking email, land on a sketchy website, or receive a strange request from someone claiming to work with your internet provider.  If they feel apprehension, then you’ve done your job.

Published on February 22, 2016