Your business may have robust cybersecurity protocols in place: you use firewalls, antivirus and malware protection, multi-factor authentication, and data encryption. Yet your cyber protection is only as secure as the weakest link. Regrettably, your people are often your biggest risk.
We’re not saying your employees intend to risk your business data. It can happen, but human error is more likely to be blamed than malicious insiders. In Verizon’s annual Data Breach Investigation Report, 74% of breaches studied “involved the human element.”
Every day, around the world, businesses face data loss due to unintended human action. These dangerous behaviors might include:
- deleting files without an available backup;
- spilling liquid on business technology, which damages hardware;
- leaving laptops open, unencrypted, or unprotected, increasing the chances of theft;
- falling for social engineering attempts and downloading computer viruses or malware.
Implications of Human Error
Any data loss from human error can damage your business. Without access to data, productivity can suffer. Your business will also need to invest time and money in data recovery efforts.
Data loss can also damage your business reputation. If customers learn of data loss, they might take their business elsewhere. In serious cases of data compromise, you could also face legal action. Depending on your industry, you may also face fines for not meeting data-privacy and security standards.
Prevent Human Error
Mistakes will happen, yet you can reduce the risk of data loss by educating your employees about:
- securely saving, transferring, modifying, and deleting files;
- identifying phishing or other social engineering attempts;
- avoiding public wireless networks;
- securing business technology (e.g. locking their devices when not in use);
- informing IT immediately if they delete a file or download malware.
Don’t think that a single session when onboarding employees is enough. Even an annual effort to inform people about preserving cybersecurity may be too little. You might host interactive training every four to six months. Communicate the importance of ongoing vigilance, and discuss the latest threats and best practices.
Protect Your Business Data
Along with educating users, your business can also protect itself by reducing opportunity. Secure data by installing firewalls and antivirus software, and regularly patch and upgrade hardware and software.
Create a data recovery plan with many ways of backing up and restoring lost data. Moving your data to the cloud provides a recoverable, accessible backup. Work can continue even if someone does spill coffee on a server or has their work laptop stolen.
A managed service provider can help shore up your cyber defenses. Speak to our experts today to reduce your vulnerability to human error.