The Biggest IT Security Hole That Your Business Doesn’t Know About

In the world of IT we are often conditioned to look at threats as those that come from the outside. With IT security concerns for business, the most immediate threats are sometimes overlooked.

Whether it’s ransomware or targeted hacking attempts from malicious parties, these are the things that most business owners think of when considering security threats to their organization. Outdated operating systems, inefficient antivirus systems, or an unsecured network design can all be examples of security risks for a company.

However, in the majority of cases, avoidable security breaches come from within. A lack of training in small and medium sized businesses can lead to data loss, inadvertent leaking of sensitive information, or system vulnerabilities. The biggest security hole is not software, external parties, or hardware and network deficiencies. Instead, it’s the undertrained end users within your organization.

If you want your business to be more secure in 2018 than at any time in the past, then it’s time to focus on end user training.

End User Training Adds Another Line of Defense to Your Systems

Any network is only as strong as its weakest link. In addition to hardware and software, end users are definitely a part of your network. If users don’t have adequate training in security and basic operation, then you put all of your systems at risk. Managed IT professionals will all tell you that a lack of training is one of the most dangerous IT security concerns for business.

The modern workforce is often touted as being highly technical, but the reality is that many of your staff have probably never used systems like yours outside of the organization. Employees need to know what they’re doing for a number of reasons. By being specifically trained in your software and systems, employees will be:

  • More productive.
  • Less likely to use software and hardware incorrectly or in risky ways.
  • Less likely to require regular (and expensive) technical support.
  • Better able to provide feedback on how systems help or detriment business functions.

Staff don’t just need to know how to use systems, but they also need to know why systems should be used in certain ways. The majority of people are inherently resistant to organizational change. It’s doesn’t stem from some hidden trait of being difficult, but is because organizations usually fail to communicate the benefits and reasons behind certain processes.

Take internet and social media usage policies as an example. Organizations restrict access to certain software and websites to eliminate potential vulnerabilities and areas of risk. Employees sometimes circumvent limitations as they don’t see how doing so could be detrimental to the company as a whole.

When employees understand security risks, malware, and data-loss, they will be more likely to adhere to information security and internet usage policies. If an employee understands that their actions could lead to a loss of revenue and ultimately a loss of employment for them and their colleagues, then they will be motivated to follow the protocols that are in place. A managed IT service can help you to approach training in the right way.

Almost Half of All Security Breaches Are Internal

An IBM study found that 45% of security breaches come from within organizations. These are not always intentional or malicious. Often, a breach occurs because of negligence or outright ignorance to processes and best security practices.

Without training staff, the risk of accidental data loss, data theft, and malicious interference is just too high. Any business needs to work on an effective security and training policy that helps to drastically reduce or eliminate internal risk.

  • Any new technology introduced should be assessed, and access should be provided to those who are trained and that require the new technology to perform their core business tasks.
  • After any initial IT systems training, repeat bad actors should be disciplined and ultimately removed if they fail to follow operating procedures.
  • Potential employees who will have access to sensitive data (including customer records, trade secrets, financial information etc.) should be thoroughly vetted before joining the organization.
  • Access privileges should be removed following any incidents, and privileges should be removed immediately upon termination of employment.
  • All staff should receive ongoing training and evaluation to ensure that systems are being used safely and efficiently.

With a managed IT consulting service, it is possible to establish a clear understanding of all of your IT systems, their security requirements, and the level of training that will be required throughout your organization.

By removing the human element of risk from your IT systems, you can ensure better security for your data, helping you to protect your customers, your business interests, and your sustained growth as a company. Choose a managed IT service that can work with you to address IT security concerns for business today.