Employees.Your biggest vulnerability?
Dealing with employee security vulnerabilities
IT security has been firmly on the boardroom agenda for many years, and whilst external security measures are almost certainly in place, it’s now clear that internal human frailties pose the greatest security risk.
Mistakes are part and parcel of the human condition, we all make them to a greater or lesser extent, and it’s this factor that cyber criminals are increasingly seeking to exploit.
Employee’s decisions and actions (or lack thereof) in real life situations are directly related to how much protection an organisation really has. A negligent or malicious workforce is a major security risk, with research showing that 50% of incidents are directly related to complacent or deliberate employee actions, and around 90% of all security incidents involve staff in one way or another.
It’s also important to stress that it isn’t always the employee’s fault, and security risks can be exacerbated by the way people are tasked and managed.
A workforce that feels inadequately provided for will often take matters into their own hands, and feelings of departmental isolation encourage non-standard behaviour, where unapproved ‘shadow IT’ apps are downloaded and used, creating security loopholes.
With cyber incidents at an all-time high, IT leaders must do everything possible to minimise risks, prevent revenue and data loss, and maintain a strong business reputation.
Managing and mitigating the risk
Training and awareness campaigns are perfectly valid, but the most effective way to manage human risk is to identify the real-life hot spots and problem areas - and to do this you need employee behavioural insight and hard evidence of recurring vulnerable actions.
Undertaking this in a way that doesn’t alarm or upset the workforce is key, and being able to monitor workforce behaviour on set criteria, data insight, and performance standards enables risky actions to be identified. Risk hot-spots will vary as different elements and circumstances are identified, in the same way that cyber criminals and bad actors seek out loopholes and entry points.
Continuously monitoring the use of business applications, testing behaviours through phishing simulations, and applying the latest threat intelligence protection significantly reduces employee security mistakes, all supported by automated threat detection and remediation, if incidents occur.
Data gathered from automated visibility against pre-agreed criteria will identify the individuals and teams posing the greatest risk. Targeted dynamic security coaching is immediately given in a positive developmental way to boost security awareness and empower people to behave differently.
Dynamic coaching across the organisation drives instant behavioural improvement, creating a collective consciousness of diligence at all times. Human risk management becomes ingrained in the business, and the shared learning and development will benefit both the enterprise and the employees in their digital lives outside the workplace.
Innovate, inspire, motivate
Once intelligent security awareness is underway, problem areas are identified and remedial actions can begin. Tools such as phishing reporting buttons make it easier for staff to report concerns, chat features allow employees to be involved in security conversations, and automated chats can notify staff about security behaviours and issues.
Embedded ‘nudges’ in applications gently remind staff of correct behaviours, without unnecessarily interrupting employee concentration. A nudge provides an emotional intervention in a real-life situation and it changes behaviour in a way that fictional examples can never do.
In common with any initiative – gaining support and maintaining interest is key, and within the reporting dashboard, every employee has a human risk score that dynamically changes based on live behaviour. Creating an environment of friendly competition with live employee performance tables drives ongoing engagement, and positive recognition programmes makes people feel valued, motivated, and more likely to remember the skills learned.
The time is now
Taking action to manage risky employee behaviour will directly reduce your organisation’s vulnerability and security exposure, and our leading services and solutions will help you deal effectively with the challenge.
When employees are trained and empowered to make the right decisions about the security of themselves and the organisation, your company culture has been improved and advanced.
Results from the field show high levels of employee engagement, and significant in security behaviour improvements in over 75% of employees. Additionally, internal IT and security teams spend 25% less time dealing with security and configuration issues.
If you have concerns about internal workforce security then take look at the services we offer. Our specialist consultants have extensive expertise in cybersecurity solutions and they’ll help you create a fully secure working environment across your organisation.
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