When it comes to internet security, you might assume that anti-virus software, a firewall, and secure passwords are your biggest assets. And they certainly are important! But, if we’re being completely honest, those things are not always going to save you from a security breach if your employees are not well trained in security protocol.
Just to give you an example of what we mean: According to one study*, 44 percent of employees (of small to medium-sized businesses) often connect their work devices to public WiFi hotspots. That means all the work you’ve done, setting up a firewall for your office connection or ensuring secure passwords, can all go down the drain through one insecure connection somewhere else. Just imagine what a hacker could do on an open Wifi network, while your employee innocently accesses work accounts during their coffee break, and you can see what we mean.
But, by the way, we aren’t trying to pass the blame on employees here. The same study found that 66 percent of business leaders (owners and managers) are making the same mistake!
With regard to other mistakes frequently made by employees, the study found the following:
- 19 percent of employees share passwords with at least one other employee
- 69 percent of employees have not activated multi-factor authentication for their work email accounts
- 62 percent of employees use their work computers to access personal social media accounts
All of the above situations create significant security concerns, by allowing for infiltration of the network by hackers, loss of passwords through phishing attempts, potential for data theft, and more. It really doesn’t matter how secure you’ve made your network, if employees are not well trained on using it responsibly.
On the other hand, well-informed and thoroughly trained employees can be your biggest security asset. Not only will they keep your network and all work accounts safe by using them appropriately; they will also know the signs of a potential attack and what to do about it.
This is why we recommend a strongly proactive standpoint. For more information regarding responsible employee training, give us a call at 888-RING-MY-TECH. We can advise you on network security, and share information that you can pass along to your employees during safety training.
*Study by Switchfast, a Chicago-based IT consultancy for small to medium-sized businesses