Every business has to handle confidential data throughout its lifespan. Ensuring its security is your responsibility because customer trust and organizational reputation are at stake. Moreover, not having it in place can land you in trouble on the compliance front. But managing enterprise data security is more challenging than you imagine. The growing number and sophistication of breaches and cyberattacks are enough to keep you on your toes. But there is a lot more you have to worry about.
You will probably picture outside intruders breaking into your network and stealing your data. But the bigger risk lies inside the company because your employees may do the damage intentionally or unknowingly. Even worse, insider events are more damaging than attacks coming from the outside. It is vital to understand the risks and plan strategies to steer clear of disasters in the first place. At the same time, you must define a plan to address them if they happen.
Here are some ways employees can pose a risk to your data and tamper Enterprise Data Security:
1. Insider Malice
The biggest concern for companies is malicious employees causing intentional damage to enterprise data. They are the hardest to detect and costliest to handle. No business owner wants to have dishonest people in their time, but they can still get past HR despite the best vetting practices. Some employees become resentful down the line and lose their loyalty towards the employer. They can expose customer data, putting your business at risk of compliance violations and hefty fines.
The matter is disconcerting because such incidents can threaten your company’s reputation. You can address the issue by being extra conscious of candidate verification during hiring. Keep an eye on disgruntled people and go the extra mile to strengthen your network.
2. BYOD Vulnerabilities
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) system brings flexibility and scalability for businesses, but it has a downside too. Your data is no longer secure within the enterprise ecosystem but scattered across the personal devices of employees. There is always a threat of intentional breach or unintentional loss of a device or data. You need to implement a stringent device management program to ensure that employees are extra conscious of BYOD devices.
A robust BYOD policy is equally important to convey seriousness about security. Some companies hire a hacker for cell phone to keep track of suspicious activities. You can also invest in employee education to ensure they never bypass security due to a lack of awareness.
3. Poor Password Practices
Surprisingly, employees can endanger enterprise data when they fail to follow best practices for creating and managing passwords. It sounds like a trivial problem, but the impact can be far-reaching. Hackers can easily crack passwords if they are not strong enough. Just imagine the kind of risk your employees can bring by using their names and birthdates as passwords. Anyone within or outside the organization can get through and steal confidential data easily.
The more employees you have on board, the bigger the risk of a disaster. A well-enforced password policy can enhance enterprise data security. Make sure that employees use strong passwords and change them every couple of months.
4. Weak Access Policies
The risk to data is high if you do not take access policies seriously. While employees should have access to data and systems, ensure that you set limits. Opening up everything for everyone isn’t a good idea. It makes sense to have role-based access authorization for employees. You can also revoke it when the employee no longer works in a specific role and does not need data for work. Have a system admin responsible for creating and enforcing a strict access policy. Confidential folders should be inaccessible by default unless employees seek permission to access them.
5. Phishing and Social Engineering
Employees may also compromise enterprise data through phishing and social engineering. Hackers can exploit unsuspecting employees and get to internal data and networks even without a hint of foul play. Phishers imitate legitimate companies, making it easy for employees to fall prey and share data with them. A social engineer can simply access your office physically and plug a thumb drive into a workstation.
They can also entice people to click harmless-looking emails and links to access your systems. In any case, the company has to suffer. The best way to bypass such attacks is by generating awareness so that your people can steer clear of them.
The risks of losing confidential business data through your employees are real. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent such disasters. Implementing robust security and device management policies is the best place to start. You can go a step further by monitoring employees and training them to manage things at their end.