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One Of Your Biggest Security Risks: Your Employees

Your employees are one of the greatest assets to your business. They know the ins and outs of the business, keep operations steady, and reflect your company’s culture and reputation. Although it is ideal to trust that your employees will always “do the right thing,” you might be surprised by how many of your organization’s security issues originate internally. A major contributor to this is user error, which can lead to some pretty severe problems reaching from your data security, to your workflow, all the way to the continuation of your business itself. After all, you don’t want to regret overlooking the potential risks that come with your employees’ access to secure information.

From an employee accidentally clicking the wrong link in an email to accessing business data that is not relevant to their role, user error can span from accidental to outright malicious. This scenario is made worse if a business neglects to remove a former employee from its system, allowing that employee to continue accessing the business’ network, or selling their access credentials to the highest bidder. For these reasons, every business needs to be prepared to deal with user error, or worse.

Train Employees on Cybersecurity Best Practices

Many cyber attacks can stem from something as minuscule as a link in an email. Phishing is a growing concern as it becomes widespread. With recent surveys revealing 1,025,968 phishing attacks took place in Q1 of 2022—the first time the 3-month total has exceeded 1 million—it’s obvious that employees need better training on how to protect themselves. 

Consider enrolling your employees in cybersecurity training, and adding it as a required part of your onboarding process for new hires. This is especially important if your business offers a remote work environment. Exact IT Consulting offers email phishing and analysis tools to set your business up with an arsenal of education and support.

In addition to cybersecurity training, requiring two-factor authentication is essential these days. For example, if a hacker attempts to log in with a stolen password, two-factor authentication will stop them in their tracks. It’s important to routinely update company passwords, but ultimately two-factor authentication is one of the most secure practices.

Only Grant Access to Those Who Need It

It doesn’t make sense to allow open access to your network, as not every employee needs to have access to everything. For instance, employees shouldn’t be able to access your team’s payroll information, as it could cause some issues between coworkers. This is just one example of what your workforce should not have access to, as there is plenty of other sensitive, personal information that a business stores.

The best means of keeping eyes off of the information that they aren’t supposed to see is to keep your infrastructure partitioned so that employees can only access the information they need for their tasks. After all, you wouldn’t need your graphic designer to have access to your sales sheets, would you? Your IT provider can help walk you through this process, so be sure to ask about access control solutions.

Restrict Permissions For Those Who Don’t Need Them

If your users were on their personal computers that weren’t a part of a Bring-Your-Own-Device policy, it wouldn’t matter to you what they were downloading. However, business workstations need to follow a much different set of rules. Who knows what kind of apps they would try to download, and what effect they would have on your systems? These programs could easily be disguised as malware or remote access programs that give hackers an easy way in. One simple mistake—an accidental click or download—could cost your company a pretty penny to fix or restore your information.

To counter this, you have to place limits on what your employees can do with their workstations. Administrative access should be reserved for your network administrator and any IT technicians who are a part of your organization. They are the ones who need these permissions, after all, to make changes to your network in the form of new devices and software.

Remove Employee Credentials When Necessary

It’s inevitable that employees will come and go from your company. If you don’t update or remove permissions, you could set yourself up for major problems that come when people who shouldn’t have access to certain interfaces, do. Can you risk that a former employee that you’ve fired won’t pettily attempt some form of sabotage? It’s much easier to remove this person’s access from every network-attached system you have; before they leave if possible.

Can your business deal with negligence and animosity to prosper? Of course, but why risk it? We can help you keep the negative results of user error to a minimum.

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