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23 Jun 2017

Is employee behaviour crippling your cyber security success?

As a society, we are profoundly more technical than we have ever been before. We use devices and solutions to connect to everything from online banking on our smartphones, social media via our smart watches and voice activated home devices to control our heating.

A resounding outcome of this is that the average security perimeter of each individual has now moved far beyond just our laptops and email addresses and is continually evolving. Along with all of the benefits that come with utilising technology solutions and devices to connect with our home, friends and work, it also comes with great risk to the security of our personal information. In 2016, we saw an increase in ransomware of 600% that resulted in businesses losing over £1 billion to retrieve their encrypted information. Accessing online content, newsletters and discounts in exchange for something simple, such as our email address, within our personal lives is second nature and the question of how this translates into the workplace now needs to be addressed. The relationship exchange between using technology within your personal life and at work affects a person’s awareness and attitude to risks.

Education is key

Your employees can be viewed, in many instances, as the front line of your cyber defence which is not limited to their personal emails and phishing hacking attempts, but is more important when looking at how they actually interact with digital services.

Simple daily tasks and procedures when considering communications, both internally and externally, can be crucial in your organisation’s fight against cybercrime and can determine the outcome of attempted hacks.

Due to this shift, activity moves beyond your traditional corporate compliance and now brings into focus the need for regulatory evolution whilst ensuring that staff at all levels of the business are educated to ensure that your organisation’s compliance message is integrated into your workforce culture.

With over half of documented breaches due to human action and 24% of breaches caused by employee action/mistake, educating your workforce is fundamental in your organisational defence against cyber attacks and external threats.

How do we evolve to protect our networks?

We are moving forward into an interconnected working environment where employees are able to work across multiple devices, both remotely and efficiently due to the technological developments that enable access to services and data whenever they require it.

This also blurs the lines between your corporate policies and individual responsibility which in turn, opens your organisation up to a variety of increased potential hacking routes due to the increased attack surface.

This now raises the question of how you secure your data and corporate policies for individual use when remotely connecting to your network?

Do we move forward to a new form of access services that take after popular social media such as Snapchat where access is given to individuals for a set period of time?

Or does this option simply develop into a workforce hinderance whereby you are making it even more difficult for your staff to access the information they require or encouraging a download practice that then results in a large amount of confidential data located on a physical device?

Organisations must undertake the responsibility of educating their employees and promoting a security culture so that your employees understand that information security is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that your network and data remain secure.

If you would like to speak to Smoothwall about your cyber security needs, please contact one of our security specialists today. 

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