Each year, data theft and other forms of cyber crime cost small and mid-sized businesses about a billion dollars per year. With three and a half new cyber threats occurring every second, law enforcement agencies are kept busy combating online crimes. In the meantime, businesses must take measures to defend themselves.
And so, you might invest in top-notch equipment and software. But the most important element to cyber security – and also the biggest vulnerability – is something you might never expect. Your employees actually pose the largest danger to your security perimeters, whether intentionally or (far more often) unintentionally. This is becoming more true than ever, as more employees access work databases from remote locations, or from their own devices, creating multiple potential entry points to your own network.
As we said, most of the threat from employees comes from unintentional mistakes. But still, actions such as these can be costly:
- Opening attachments or clicking on links in spam emails
- Walking away from their desks, but leaving computers open and accessible to anyone
- Losing cell phones and tablets, or not installing a protective password on the lock screen
- Forgetting to set secure passwords for online accounts or change passwords frequently
- Failing to install security patches on devices when prompted
- Visiting restricted websites from work devices
All of these actions put your data at risk and unfortunately, all of them are incredibly common infringements by employees!
That’s the bad news. The good news, of course, is that you have considerable control over how these dynamics play out within your own organization. Training employees thoroughly on the dangers, issuing frequent reminders to change passwords and install security updates, and monitoring employee device usage can all go a long way toward mitigating these risks.
And yes, the right security software and firewalls are absolutely a necessity for any business, no matter how well trained your employees are. Give us a call at 888-RING-MY-TECH so that we can review security protocol with you, and we’ll help you better secure your network if necessary.