January 8, 2019 By SmartBiz Team

Employee negligence and human error have recently been named the leading cause of data breaches in today’s working world, according to the information security company Shred-it. Human error includes not only malicious employee activity, but also encompasses accidental loss of company documents or devices.

If employees are informed and educated, they can actively avoid these errors. To kickstart that security education process, here are a few tips your company can implement:

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Secure company devices by locking and powering them down whenever stepping away.

It might seem obvious but it couldn’t hurt to remind your employees to never leave their work devices unattended while out in public, especially if you have a remote work policy.

Also remind employees to create strong passwords and to set up two-step authorization measures to deter hackers from accessing classified information. Strong passwords should contain upper and lower-case letters, at least one number and special character and should not include personal information.

The extra layer of authorization provides a second checkpoint in order to gain access, so that guessing someone’s password isn’t enough to hack into their account.

Create admin and non-admin accounts to ensure classified information can only be edited and seen by approved personnel.

To keep your information in the right hands, release administration access to a predetermined group of employees, management and executives. Give employees in leadership positions with administration access for software and devices.

For other employees, non-admin accounts are sufficient as they still have the ability to use programs, although their ability to make edits is limited. An important factor is to tell employees about the importance of changing their initial default passwords to make programs difficult to hack into.

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Implement unified security software on all work-related devices to ensure some devices are not more vulnerable to attacks than others.

Human error most often occurs when utilizing devices outside of the physical office, so implementing security measures that protect all devices is critical. Ensure tablets and cell phones aren’t weak entry points for hackers to find a way into your company network.

One easy way to ensure this is by implementing a secure unified communications suite that helps you seamlessly switch devices without compromising the integrity of your work.

Inform your employees of what phishing and spam emails look like so they can be prepared should a scam pop up in their inboxes.

Phishing and social engineering are contributing factors for malware and targeted attacks. The amount of phishing emails increases every year.

To best make your employees aware of what risks are at hand, hold training sessions to show them what phishing and spam emails consist of. Spam emails are easily detectable unsolicited junk mail, while phishing emails are more disguised appearing to be from organizations you believe to be trustworthy. From there, set policies for how to deal with these hazards should they occur.

Implementing some of these practices into your everyday workflow can immensely decrease the human error at your company and therefore protect you from security breaches. Small changes can often have large impacts, and many of these solutions are easy to implement.

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