When it comes to your network and all the data inside and around it, the threats are endless. These threats aim to destroy, steal, corrupt, and borrow your data and terrorize your network in the process. But these threats don’t just begin and end with outside influences like malware and hackers. They can always come from the inside, too.
Here are just a few of the reasons your employees can be a major security threat to your business.
They make mistakes.
No one is perfect. We’ve all been told that since the dawn of time. People make mistakes, and these mistakes are never pretty to look at or fun to deal with. And no matter how many times you wish upon a star, your business is not and will never be immune to all those mistakes. Because of this, your network will never be 100% secure. Employees will open malicious emails, download malware-infested documents, click on corrupt links, lose connected devices, and give away the right information to the wrong person – and all “accidentally.”
They get angry.
It’s true. Employees have been known to purposely mess with the security of the companies they work for. They get angry and then they get vindictive. They get passed up for a promotion. They hear something they don’t like. They get fired. And because of situations like these, they’ll delete your data, give away private information, or throw your network into the terrifying climax of a security horror story.
They can be lazy.
Most people don’t feel it’s necessary to be on the top of their game 24/7. Tired, upset, or annoyed with the day, people might take a mental vacation from work. During this time, they won’t do everything they’re supposed to do – like lock their devices when they aren’t near them, log out of websites, apps, or programs when they’re done with them, or throw sensitive documents in the trashcan rather than shred them.
They might be uneducated.
In many cases, employees just don’t know any better. They haven’t been trained on the ins and outs of phishing; they don’t understand why you shouldn’t write passwords down on a sticky note, and they’ve never heard of ransomware before.
They could be malicious.
There are employees who become angry and vindictive over the course of time, and then there are employees who are bad news from the very beginning. These are the people who will sell your data for money or tear down your network just for fun. Just as bad people exist in your personal life, they also exist in your professional life.
What can be done?
The intent of this article isn't to make you feel hopeless. Yes, employees are one of your company's biggest threats, but are also one of your biggest assets. Regularly educating employees on the threats that exist can save your company network downtime, and ultimately, a lot of money. Phishing tests help combat the most common data breaches. They are simple to implement and provide critical education.
The educating and implementation of these programs can be done in-house, but many companies also find value in managed IT services to help simplify and place their network security in the hands of a team of professionals.
Want to Learn More?
Posted by Kevin Kendall
Kevin Kendall is the VP of Services for Standard Office Systems and has built a career of assisting businesses with their office technology needs. He has decades of experience with products and services like copiers, business phone systems, and managed IT services. Mr. Kendall is driven to see others succeed and help them develop to achieve results beyond ordinary expectations.