How secure is your human shield?

How secure is your human shield?

The under-utilisation of office technology is widespread. Not only does it prevent businesses from achieving the desired return on their investments, it also places the security of information at risk. Technology plays a huge part of any defence system, of course, but how many of us consider the part that employees play in protecting information they handle?

Security needs to be top priority for IT departments, but it’s also important to ensure employees feel they understand why security measures are so essential. A coherent internal education and training programme focused on business technology can help prevent potentially damaging and costly data leaks. It’s easy to assume that people understand what information is valuable to the organisation and why, but it’s not always obvious. 

Users display a great deal of trust by assuming that security is managed by decision makers. The majority of workers clearly presume that their organisation has taken sufficient measures to ensure information is securely managed, yet research shows that this isn’t always the case. Responsibility for preventing security breaches lies at all levels and it’s up to the IT function to create a secure culture and environment where the workforce is vigilant and aware of the dangers.

This issue is particularly problematic with the rise of remote working and easy access to personal cloud services. While IT departments take their time to ponder whether to allow BYOD or perhaps go with a more manageable option of CYOD, many employees are becoming frustrated by delays and opt for SYOD (‘smuggle your own device’). They need to understand the potential implications of their actions and the best way to do this is to educate employees about why their information is valuable. 

The message to IT decision makers is clear. Your employees are your first line of defence in maintaining corporate security, especially with the continued proliferation of digital technology. Organisations need to listen to their employees, provide the training they require and treat security with the heightened priority it deserves.