The Danger Within – Connectivity Security Practices That Hurt Companies From WithinITFirst South Africa
With so many businesses turning to online technology to function optimally in today’s world, connectivity security is essential. Every company that takes their business seriously knows their data is valuable. This is why companies place emphasis (and budget) on data security management.
Both large and small organisations realise the dangers of cybersecurity breaches. But do you believe the danger always comes from outside? Breaches such as unauthorised access or data leakage can be a threat many companies face on a daily basis if not properly protected.
But what about security threats from within your own organisation? Are your employees equipped with a business culture that reflects the workplace’s responsibility towards proper data security management? What practices are installed within the organisation to ensure data breaches aren’t happening from within?
Discover where incorrect connectivity security practices could be happening within your own business which could lead to data security breaches from within your company. Find out what you can do to ensure both your employees and IT personnel are fully informed of best practices when using the company’s network resources.
What the Stats Tell You About Data Breaches from Within
A Varonis Global Data Risk Report in 2019 highlighted the extent of data breaches taking place within organisations. This is largely due to a lack of proper data management practices not being implemented by businesses.
- More than 53% of global companies discovered that over 1,000 sensitive files were accessible by all employees within companies.
- On average, every employee had access to 17 million files.
- Only 5% of companies found their folders were protected.
- 24% of data breaches are caused by human error.
- 90% of malware comes from emails.
- 80% of companies found over 50,000 folders were accessible by every employee.
These figures alone raise some questions about installing best practices within the organisation to protect your valuable data. You may have all the best data management procedures in place. But if your employees aren’t trained to use correct connectivity security practices, your data will be prone to security breaches.
Connectivity Security Practices to Improve Within the Company
Some of the most common connectivity security problems could be the very reason your company is facing serious data security breaches from within. By being aware of these problem areas, you’ll be able to start installing better practices to safeguard your company’s network security.
1. Secure Handling of Sensitive Data
It’s the responsibility of every business handling sensitive data to ensure that only authorised persons have access to sensitive information. Stats, as mentioned above, indicate that unauthorised employees are having access to information they shouldn’t be having. What’s more, organisations aren’t even aware of this happening.
When sensitive data is being shared over your company’s network, it should only be made accessible to authorised personnel. You can do this by implementing network policies around email management and file sharing.
Data handling policies within an organisation inform all employees of the correct and secure handling of sensitive data. Such policies allow for the blocking of emails and files from unauthorised persons. You can also include a flag that indicates when network users are accessing sensitive data.
Nowadays, many companies are using cloud services. In this case, it’s essential to ensure the cloud is also included in your network policies.
2. Safer Browsing Practices
Online browsing is one of the ways a company’s network becomes easily breached. Train your employees to use safe browsing practices when using the organisation’s network. They can do this by:
- Installing an up-to-date browser on their own system
- Using high-quality anti-virus software that scans any file before downloading it
- Checking all emails thoroughly before clicking on and opening links
- Never use public Wi-Fi when browsing for the organisation
- Being vigilant when sharing credit card and other personal information
Safe browsing practices can be implemented by including them in the organisation’s network policies. You can also ensure prompts are sent to network users when they’re browsing the web reminding them of safe practices while online.
3. Secure USB Management
USBs are convenient when you want to share information with colleagues. However, this is also one of the easiest ways of introducing security threats, malware and viruses to the organisation’s network.
Once again, detailing secure USB management in your organisation’s network security policies will ensure your employees are fully aware of correct USB usage. Installing specialised mechanisms that scan USBs before use will also minimise any risk of network threats.
Inform employees that USB usage can only be used on occasional cases and only when no other method can be used to share data. A policy stipulating the correct use of USBs will help you monitor and regulate the use of these devices within the organisation.
4. VPN Security Between Users
Organisations face security breaches when data traffic between the network and registered users are not secure. This is often the case when registered users are using mobiles, tablets and other devices to access the network remotely.
Hackers can access this data traffic between the network and the user at any time if this line of communication is not properly secured. VPNs are used to secure this form of communication. However, it’s essential to use quality VPNs to encrypt all communication between the network and registered users.
A quality VPN service guarantees online privacy and it hides your IP address, making all online activity undetectable by hackers. With encrypted and secured connections, you’re keeping your network secure and your data protected.
5. Better Password Management
Teach your employees the importance of strong passwords. A weak password can be detrimental to the security of your organisation’s network. Knowing the difference between a weak password and a strong password keeps your network secure.
A weak password is often easy to figure out, uses simple configuration of alphabets and numbers. A stronger password uses a combination of alphabets, numbers and symbols. Whenever a user registers on your network, prompt them to use a combination of different characters when putting in a password.
If your company is dealing with extremely sensitive data regularly passwords should be changed often. Ensure your employees are aware of this and if necessary, encourage them to use a password manager. This helps them remember their password while not being accessible by unauthorised users.
Whatever business you’re in be it the health industry or agriculture, accommodation or catering, your data is valuable. Cybersecurity is being updated constantly to ensure outsiders don’t breach your network. But being aware of the dangers from within is essential to support the data security of your network.
Training your employees to use correct connectivity security practices means your business remains stable and reliable, digitally. Your business culture determines whether your network resources operate securely or not and you can do this by developing and implementing network policies.
Huge Connect can help your organisation with safe and secure communications through our PCI network. Systems such as these services improve your connectivity security both from within and from outside. Let’s start talking about what your organisation needs to stay safe in the digital age.