The holidays are the perfect time to reflect on this year’s experiences, successes and resolutions for the impending New Year. While self-analysis can sometimes be a grey area, how employees treat data is much more black and white. If there’s anything 2016 has taught us, it’s that treatment of important data is just as important as the security tools organizations have in place. This is backed up by data of course, most recently with a Forrester Research study that saw a staggering 36% of all security breaches coming from careless users—with numerous employees treating data as haphazardly as a young child opening up presents on Christmas Day. With that being said, what can employees do to better handle data?
When in the workplace, always follow the golden rule—treat proprietary data as you would want your own personal data to be treated. As you look back on an eventful 2016, ask yourself:
Do I deserve a gift or a lump of coal from cybersecurity Santa?
Here are some questions that might help gauge how naughty or nice you were to your organization’s data this year:
- Do you lock your screen when you leave your device?
- Do you use an unlocked or altered BYOD that connects to the network?
- Do you leave sensitive data on a USB or other storage drive?
- Do you post sensitive details about your job or responsibilities on social media?
- Do you use the same password for work as you do in your personal life?
- Do you put off updating your work pc?
- Have you ever given sensitive information from someone claiming to be from IT helpdesk?
- Are you careful with emails that look fraudulent?
- Have you ever misplaced your work device and not reported it?
- Do you use a VPN to login to the company network?
How did you do? If you answered these questions confidently, give yourself a pat on the back. You’re giving your organization the gift that keeps on giving—end user data protection. If you were caught off guard by any of these questions, take some time to educate yourself on how to best protect your data in this new age of insider threats. It only takes a small user error to expose an entire network and destroy years of work in mere seconds. Let’s make sure the lump of coal goes to naughty hackers, not to hardworking employees.