Data security: A human resource issue

Data security: A human resource issue

The vast majority of all security incidents involve human error. Ashley Schwartau of The Security Awareness Company says that the two biggest mistakes a company can make are “assuming their employees know internal security policies” and “assuming their employees care enough to follow policy.”

There are many security risks to which your data is susceptible, but there is one method that remains a wonderfully effective hacking tool and it illustrates the role employees play if breaking down your data security efforts. That is the phishing scam. This scam is a legitimate looking email that asks the reader to click on a link. If clicked, the link can infect the user’s computer with malicious software that can steal passwords, logins, and other critical data. Alternatively, the email appears to be from a legitimate source, perhaps even duplicating a legitimate web page. The distinction is that the phishing email asks the user to enter personal information, including passcodes. In either case, this is how hackers easily get into your systems.

What’s the best defence against this one? The single, biggest defence is education. Train your people to be constantly wary of all the emails they receive. One way some firms are educating their people is by sending out their own “fake” phishing scams. Employees who click on the link inside are greeted with a notice that they've fallen for a phishing scam and then are offered tips on how not to be fooled in the future. It may seem like a bit of a dirty trick, but data security is a serious issue.

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