Data breaches are rising in frequency and intensity, such that businesses are rightfully concerned about the potential compromise of their corporate data. They hire security consultants, invest in the latest security protection programs, and send leadership to training and security conferences so they understand the importance of a well-secured data set. But often ignored by the majority of enterprises is the biggest security vulnerability; that which lies within their own walls. Because, in fact, it is internal risk and exposure created by their own employees that is the biggest vulnerability across the industry.
But how do you prepare for internal security risks? The question has been one businesses struggle with to this day. The truth is in the training of everyday employees, the ones who are addressing this risk head-on day after day. Here’s a look at how your security training should evolve in the face of your biggest security threat, your own team.
Acknowledge the Scope of the Risk
While not as “glamorous” as corporate espionage or international cyber-crime, internal security risks are very real and can have very damaging and lasting impacts. While the problem may seem small, the effects of such data leaks can be wide-reaching and long-lasting. A 2013 study by the experts at Symantec and the Ponemon Institute found that data security breaches (whether they were intentional or unintentional) result in an average loss of more than $5 million each. That’s a tremendous amount to risk on a manageable security threat. Worse yet is the negative impact such events can have on a company’s reputation. Clearly the threat needs to be taken seriously.
A Broader Defense Strategy
Knowing what your most valuable and sensitive data is, and adjusting the level of security that is used to protect that information is critical. As the importance of certain information rises, so too should your security response. Also, keep in mind that not all threats come from outside your company. Internal threats should be responded too in kind, and only certain individuals should have access to high value or confidential information. This will help to reduce your overall risk.
Manage Access and Identity
Luckily there are a number of things you can do as an employer to make sure your assets are as protected as possible. If your security policy does not incorporate and support the need for internal protection as well as external, you are leaving yourself unnecessarily vulnerable. Strategies such as knowing and monitoring early warning signs, targeting your defenses to protect your most valuable data, and creating a multi-layered security strategy will serve you well. These tactics might seem obvious, but the key is in implementation.
Identify and Address Early Warning Signs
The most common early warning signs of an internal data breach include unusual behavior or obvious discontent among your employees. As a manager, you should be keeping tabs on the morale and overall wellbeing of your staff for the sake of employee retention and maintaining a positive corporate culture. But these indicators can also be warning signs of an impending data leak or another internal security breach. Once such issues come to like, you should act quickly to mitigate and improve attitude in the workplace to reduce the risk of an internal security breach.
For more advice on keeping your data safe and secure, connect with the experts at Happy Faces Records Management today.