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If we asked you to identify the biggest risk to your business’ network security, what would you think it would be? Some might think that the countless threats on the Internet are the biggest issues your organization will have to deal with, while others might think natural disasters represent the biggest problem for your business. Many others, however, see the end user as the biggest threat to their business, and they are right… to an extent.
That’s right. The same employees who are dedicated to keeping your business functioning as intended are also its biggest achilles heel. The reason for this is simple, even though it may not be clear right off the bat. They are using your technology solutions and working directly with clients, meaning that they are usually the first point of contact people would have in the dissemination of your business’ responsibility for your business’ operations, whatever they happen to be. An attack against them is an attack against the lifeblood of your business.
Of course, employees generally don’t know when they are the source of your business’ security problems, and most of the time they certainly don’t mean to sink a ship they’ve boarded, so to speak. Hackers tend to take advantage of whomever they can, which is why they target your end users. They have the least to lose, and typically have a fair amount of work to do, so they are more distracted than someone who is diligent about going through their incoming messages. Here are three issues your IT administrator may run into.
User ErrorEveryone makes mistakes, and your employees are no exception. Employees could click on a link that exposes them to threats or downloads malicious files, or they could download dangerous attachments from emails. All it takes is one weak link in the fence to break it down, and the same rhetoric can be applied to your network.
Phishing AttacksWhile some low-level spam can be blocked by your email server, more advanced, targeted threats can make it past these defenses. This is because they are highly customized to attack specific individuals or organizations, making them more difficult to identify by spam blocking solutions. In these cases, it’s best to train your employees to identify the warning signs and be suspicious about any out-of-place messages.
Mobile Device UsageIf you allow your employees to use their own personal devices for work, you open up an entire pathway for hackers to take advantage of to get to your business. Employees could be careless with how they use your business’ data, and when they can walk out the door with it, this becomes a problem. Furthermore, employees will bring their mobile devices to the office, whether you like it or not, increasing the urgency to address these issues with your workforce.
If you want to keep your employees from creating problems for your business, we recommend taking the following actions. First, you implement a comprehensive employee security training strategy for your organization that’s required by each and every worker you have. This helps to make them aware of the threats your organization faces every day. Once this has been handled, you can implement secondary security solutions to limit their exposure to threats in the first place, like spam blocking, content filtering, and so on. These measures make it so that your employees can both identify potential threats and dodge them altogether--a potent combination--that can surely keep your organization more secure than it’s ever been.
To get started with preventative security measures and training ideas, reach out to us at 204-772-8822.
Here’s a horror story about an entrepreneur who, at a glance, was following many data backup best practices. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, things didn’t go so well when a crucial task was missed.