March 28, 2019
With reported cases on data security violation on the increase, the human aspect in these breaches should be acknowledged and taken into consideration when addressing this issue.
It’s a common misconception that the infusion of cyber technology is by itself the main and possibly the only aspect of data protection, thereby ignoring the human element in data management or mismanagement in the event of a data breach.
Have a look at the following errors:
Exploitation of an individual’s interest by a scammer in order to access restricted information. Phishing is by far the most entrenched form of data security breach in this sphere. Due to its nature, the victims of this form of data breach at times have no idea that they are leaving themselves open to exploitation. The way phishing works is that the entity with the intention to access unauthorized information lures the potential victim into thinking that they are engaging with a legitimate online entity; usually via email to access the desired information. The victim, unaware that they are being scammed, end up giving the desired information themselves. To the mind of the victim, they are only giving out desired information to a legitimate online platform. The end result is that the person ends up aiding in the data breach, albeit unknowingly, through accessing malicious links or email attachments.
Mail misdelivery is another form of human error that impacts on data security. Misdelivery occurs when those entrusted with the delivery of sensitive information either intentionally or unknowingly end up delivering such information to unauthorized users. In this age of email mass marketing and other forms of massive data transfer, persons handling such transfers are mandated to guarantee the safety of data being sent. The use of encryption in such transfers helps minimize the accessibility of such information should it find its way to unintended recipients.
Unauthorized access to information outlets such as company devices. Those entrusted with such devices should treat them with the importance they deserve. It’s not uncommon to find employees with access to such devices allowing unrestricted access to their friends or family members. It’s during those interactions that information can be accessed without the person’s knowledge, leading to a serious breach in data security. The owners of such devices should be trained on the importance of the gadgets in their possession as they are literally the gatekeepers of such sensitive information.
Poor password usage can seriously undermine a person’s or corporate data. The accessibility to such information should be password protected. In fact, it’s no longer just about having a password. More is expected, the routine changing of these passwords guarantees that access to such information is restricted. Another way would be to avoid using obvious words for passwords. Individuals entrusted with password requesting devices should avoid sharing such passwords. Corporations should emphasise to their employees the importance of employing proper password management practices to avoid data security breaches.
No training and guidelines
Inadequate or in some cases absence of relevant training on people entrusted with such data. The frequent incorporation of information management systems to members of staff that handle sensitive information minimizes the risk of human error, as members can refer to their training on best practices employed in the handling of such information. The absence of such laid out guidelines and expectations would most definitely expose employees to violations in data security.
Little awareness of matters relating to data security. Security has to be emphasized to all members handling company data. Issues on software upgrade that bring about improved security measures are not a management issue alone. Best internet and data handling software should be put to use and the relevant persons educated on their importance and use. Things like data security upgrades should be at the forefront of staff members in conjunction with the relevant Information technology personnel. Data security should be a primary responsibility of all staff members; it’s the absence of such awareness that could lead to data being compromised.
Not being able to handle data
Careless or outright incompetence when it comes to data handling. In the daily execution of one’s duties, set out procedures might be overlooked. The need to meet targets and deadlines will most often make people overlook procedures that they consider cumbersome. These shortcuts are sometimes the root course of known data breaches. It’s the responsibility of those charged with management to ensure laid out data handling procedures adhere to irrespective of the workload. In the rush to finish assignments employees who are not keen to details might be responsible for coursing data breaches.
Unrestricted data usage
Unrestricted data usage is yet another factor that results in data being compromised. The ease with which persons access any or all information should be a subject of scrutiny. By leaving an institution’s data access points manned and the need to apply multiple layers, authentication when accessing or requesting certain data that is considered sensitive is critical in limiting data leakages. The absence of such measures means that anybody with access can retrieve any information they so wish for their personal use. Restriction brings about accountability and traceability, especially when dealing with sensitive information.
The human aspect associated with budget allocation in matters relating to data security is sometimes to blame for data breaches. With management always on the lookout for cost-cutting measures, the need to invest and come up with a sustained approach to a data breach scenario might not be appreciated. This is especially so when the said company has never experienced any data breaches. The failure to allocate funds and invest in data security measures leaves the company vulnerable to data attacks, more so when they are ill prepared when these attacks occur.
Outsourcing or dealing with contractors whose perspective of data security might be different from that of the organization that is contacting outside vendors. Outsourcing has been known to contribute to cases of data breaches. When vendors have access to information that is deemed sensitive and they themselves do not appreciate its importance, which could lead to serious data leakages.
With all the above factors being put into consideration, Techiespad team suggests that it is important you consider using encryption software that helps protect your data. With this kind of software, your data is heavily encrypted; a sure way to ensure that third parties wouldn’t access it without explicit authorization. The password management is also simple, plus you can make sure that your data is safe in cloud platforms such as Dropbox and Google Drive.