Security savvy employees are your first line of cyber defense
If you follow business technology news, you’ve likely heard the alarming statistics demonstrating how your employees are the biggest threat to your data security. According to a recent study by security firm, Shred-it, 84% of C-level executives and 51% of small business owners report that employee carelessness or negligence is one the biggest information security risks.
We’ve seen it ourselves with local small businesses. An unsuspecting employee receives a compromised email. They don’t recognize the warning signs and click on a link that contains malware that subsequently infects their device, and possibly the entire business network. Whether it’s contained or widespread, the consequences are real. Even a small data breach, if there is such a thing, results in remediation costs, lost productivity, and potential reputation damage.
Now, it’s easy to focus on the carelessness of the employee. The person likely feels shame for being duped and worries about their employment. But, here’s the thing…. your employee is not a cybersecurity expert. They may be a financial whiz or a marketing master, a sales guru or an administrator extraordinaire; but they are not naturally equipped to deal with the sophistication of today’s cyber threats.
By not equipping your staff with the proper security training and tools, you leave them vulnerable to various security risks, which ultimately leaves your business vulnerable too.
Motivate your team for a successful technology deployment
You’ve done the research and pulled the trigger. You bought the new software platform, or selected a different email system, or purchased a new cloud storage solution. Now it’s time to deploy the technology to your business.
One of most important factors in whether a new technology deployment is successful or not is your people. Yet often, when deploying something new, people only consider the technical aspects… timelines, deliverables, budget, etc. In my experience managing hundreds of IT projects for our clients, I have found that employees’ attitudes and willingness to engage can make or break a project.
Security awareness training for employees helps small businesses mitigate risks
Make no mistake – your business IS a target of cybercriminals. Although some smaller businesses believe they are “too small to get hacked,” the opposite is quite true. According to a 2016 study by the Ponemon Institute, 55% of small businesses experienced a cyberattack within the past twelve months.
With more limited budgets and resources, smaller businesses are easy targets hackers can exploit for big money. The idea that you are protected due to your relative anonymity is wrong. Your business and your data are vulnerable to attacks.
Although technical controls, such as firewalls and antivirus platforms, help protect your business data security, by no means are they enough. Many businesses all but ignore the number one risk to their business security…. HUMANS. Yes, your employees are talented and knowledgeable in their respective roles. But, they are not IT or security experts, and you really can’t expect them to be.
Without proper training and awareness, your team is vulnerable to exposing your business to a real security risk.
How the right IT strategy can drive business growth
Successful businesses are focused on growth. It really is that simple. All their decisions and actions are based on enabling growth and opportunity. They are action-oriented, determined to turn goals into results that, in turn, create more opportunities.
These businesses approach IT technology in the same way. It’s not a necessary evil, but a force that can empower a business with a competitive advantage. Technology should align with business objectives and drive outcomes to realize true growth.