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Employees: The Biggest Risk To Your IT Security?

As a business owner, you can do everything you can to protect your IT systems from viruses, data breaches, and hacking incidents. But the simple truth is that it is never enough. In fact, one of the biggest issues all companies face is the threat they face from their employees. In today’s guide, we’re going to go through several of the major problems you might encounter – and how to prevent them.

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Accidental misuse

Accidents in IT happen all the time because very few people truly understand the systems they use. For example, a member of staff might click on a link sent in personal email. The link opens and infects your entire system. It’s a simple mistake, of course. Nonetheless, it’s these little incidents that are costing companies around the world millions. It is essential that you have a robust cyber security policy in place, which includes regular staff training. Make it clear that staff is to be incredibly careful about how they use your systems.

Weak passwords

Weak passwords are a godsend to hackers. It can take them mere minutes to break into a system, either through guesswork or sheer brute force. Once they are in, it’s easy to see the damage they can cause. So, make sure your employees understand the importance of creating more complicated passwords. There should be a good mix of numbers, lowercase, and uppercase letters.

Malicious abuse

Not all employees are angels, of course. Anyone with access to your systems that also has a grievance can cause serious issues. Inside jobs are more common than you might think, too. Some are motivated by financial gain; others are just bitter employees wishing to cause havoc. There have also been many cases of state-sponsored espionage. It can be difficult to avoid these issues, of course. However, it’s sensible to limit access to systems on a need-to-know basis. And also change passwords every time someone leaves the company.

Rogue programs

Employees can often download rogue programs to your system, too. Again, it’s an easy mistake to make. Everywhere you look, online there are ‘free’ programs that help you convert files or appear useful to the business. The trouble is, once they are in the system, they can be incredibly hard to get rid of. And, some are malicious and can track the computer’s data logs or introduce other malware.

BYOD

The bring your own device phenomenon is great for boosting business productivity. But it’s also a significant security threat. Allowing any device to access your system is a genuine risk, as they can introduce just about anything into your system. If you do allow employees to BYOD, it is critical to be careful. Try to avoid allowing personal devices any access to corporate data. And also make it clear to employees they are responsible for keeping their devices clean from malware.

Employees are critical to the success of your business. But they can also cause disaster – intentionally or not. Make sure you have a first class cyber security policy in place to avoid problems.

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