Careless employees are the greatest challenge

Posted On 12 Jan 2014
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IT networks suffer from various threats, including malware, hacking and other external risks, however, 60 per cent of IT professionals view employee carelessness as the biggest risk to an organisation’s security, according to a report from SecureData. The findings are based on responses from 110 IT professionals, half of whom are in major organisations with over 5,000 employees. While 40 per cent of respondents viewed Operations teams as the greatest risk to security, Finance teams were also seen as a significant worry (13 per cent). Interestingly, at a time when cloud security is being hotly debated, no one cited this as a primary security concern. While IT professionals have been quick to spot the risks posed by non-security conscious employees, agreement on how to tackle the challenge is less certain. 40 per cent of respondents felt that educating employees was the most important step to improving security, but 25 per cent added that implementing a clear security management policy was their weakest area. Meanwhile, almost half (44 per cent) of those questioned said that the ultimate responsibility for security decision-making is left in the hands of more junior IT managers, rather than C-level staff (44 per cent) or department heads (12 per cent). Commenting on the findings, SecureData’s CEO Etienne Greeff says,” There’s a huge opportunity here for organisations to tighten security simply by better educating their staff. Don’t leap to technical answers and complex solutions. This is not about budget-busting new technologies, but going back to basics: plan and deliver a simple, straightforward security policy that employees can easily follow.” 50 per cent of respondents see a holistic approach to security as crucial to meeting the security challenge, with 36% stating that detecting threats quickly is the weakest area of their current approach. Greeff concludes:” It’s encouraging to see so many recognising the importance of a holistic approach to security. Assessing risk, detecting threats earlier, protecting valuable assets and responding quickly when there is a breach will help restore trust in colleagues across an organisation. But this leadership must come from the top, with the C-level stepping up to tackle the security knowledge gap in their organisations.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.