Disengaged Employees Pose a Serious Security Risk to Organizations

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Disengaged Employees Pose a Serious Security Risk to Organizations

Focusing on enhancing employee engagement is one of the best investments an IT leader can make when it comes to safeguarding enterprises from internal and external threats, minimizing risks and accelerating adoption of security initiatives.

Since the pandemic, security teams have been under immense pressure to protect remote systems and networks. Organizations are now increasingly exposed and vulnerable to security threats, especially with cyber-criminals taking advantage of the huge disruption created by a shift in working models.

Many businesses, including those experiencing COVID-related budget cuts, have spent thousands on security technologies and platforms in an effort to prevent malicious activity. However, with user error accounting for 90% of data breaches in 2019, businesses must ensure they are paying enough attention to their weakest security link — their employees.

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Addressing Security Challenges

Human error is significantly easier to detect and manage in an office setting. Every system and device used by employees is connected to the same network and conforms to the same security rules as the rest of the company. Specific controls, as well as crucial monitoring and mitigation capabilities, are always in operation, reducing the danger of possible threats.

Organizations face a slew of new security concerns as a result of the widespread adoption of remote working. Employees are connecting from different locations, using different servers, and, in many cases, depending on their own home security systems to secure corporate devices. Organizations will be exposed to higher levels of risk if they do not have an on-site security team to apply the necessary security practices.

The Influence of Disengaged Employees

It has become increasingly crucial to understand how and why human error occurs, especially with the rapid shift to a permanent remote working model. Additionally, security leaders should implement strategies in place that can manage and reduce these errors across a distributed workforce.

Security naturally becomes less of a focus as employees tire of working remotely and encounter their own productivity issues. As a result, one of the biggest security challenges for an organization is employee apathy. Disengaged employees are not only more vulnerable to outside influence, but they are also more likely to leave systems unprotected due to negligence, putting sensitive company information at risk.

According to a 2020 report from Cyberchology, during the pandemic, 80 percent of enterprises experienced an increase in cybersecurity risk due to human factors. Employees have gotten more complacent as stress levels have increased. To address this, businesses must instil a sense of security accountability throughout the organization.

Creating a Culture of Accountability

Many employees are suffering the consequences of remote working after a year. Employers, on the other hand, are dealing with the consequences of a drop in employee motivation. Companies must work twice as hard to develop a culture of ownership, especially when it comes to security, because engagement is more difficult to achieve and sustain than ever before.

Organizations must provide resources and regular training to employees because security is such a sensitive and complicated topic. Remote workers will benefit from security training since it will not only urge them to stay vigilant, but it will also highlight any risky behaviour and how to avoid them.

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Apart from providing frequent training and instilling basic digital hygiene, such as installing a password manager and enabling two-factor authentication, IT departments should also emphasize the potential business damage and interruptions that data theft and attacks can create. Employees are more inclined to follow guidelines and recommendations if they can see how security issues affect their work directly.

While every employee should be concerned about how a security threat can affect the organization, there will always be individuals who are less concerned. Security plans and processes must be understood and accessible to the entire organization for it to be adopted. Security strategies and processes must be understood and accessible by the entire organization in order to be implemented. Organizations need to invest in communication training for their IT staff so that they can work more effectively with other departments and raise awareness of security initiatives.

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