Data. A business’ most valuable asset. Data in the modern practices of professional life, is the most irreplaceable tool in a successful company. Without data, most companies will have very little to work off of, resulting in poor business performance and strategies.

Data security is a vital step in protecting digital data sets on databases. It controls unwanted actions from taking place on a business’ data that are either experienced because of a cyber attack or maybe even due to unauthorized users. But the biggest threat to data breaches is mostly due to human error.

What is human error in computer security?

Within a security context, human error on data security relates to the unintentional action or failure of action caused by an employee. This human error could result in security breaches, further impacting loss of information or the gaining of information by a competitor.

While human impact is so greatly needed in the majority of businesses, the fear of a human mistake could disrupt the everyday running of business.

How can human error affect a business?

No matter how small an error, the effects could be detrimental to the success of a business. Forgetting to log out of an internal database could leave valuable information in the hands of prying eyes, sharing files with unverified users could bring a company to a stand still.

But how can this happen?

What causes human error?

While most human error instances take place due to accidental actions or unforeseen situations with no intention to cause harm, there are instances where unmotivated, poorly managed or ill treated employees plan an action to achieve a specific result – harm to the company.

So how can business owners avoid this?

Data protection regulations have nudged business owners in the right direction, where data security is inbuilt into their online presence and with their external clients but what about internal humans?

Cybersecurity culture is mostly lacking in most companies when it comes to employee management and ‘control’. There are multiple ways to avoid such breeches, voluntary or accidental, and while training and fair office treatment are the top solutions in avoiding such errors from taking place, there are a number of tools that businesses can adopt:

1. Be weary of phishing scams

Phishing is a modern age scam that is caused by a malicious email, designed to appear legitimate and trusted. Phishing could fool the best of us, but learning how to look out for email errors or inconsistencies could prevent a company from falling prey to such social breaches.

Training staff on how to identify spam emails that find their way into their Inbox, could save your company an incredible amount of time and money. Captivating training videos that could be accessed repeatedly could help in imprinting this ideology into your employees’ daily practices.

Backing up your human efforts with phishing simulation tests, automatically run on employee devices, could keep phishing at bay. This tool will also identify which of your staff is more prone to open such malicious emails, allowing you to hone in on their professional development.

2. Who’s using your corporate devices?

It’s all great and dandy that your employees are given company devices to conduct their office work on. And with work from home situations becoming more and more popular across the globe, taking or keeping a laptop at home will become the norm for most employees. But is your employee the only user on this device?

What’s to say your employee’s husband, daughter or friend isn’t making use of the company laptop for personal reasons? Well, if you’ve not specifically mentioned such restrictions to your employees, then their sharing of the device is not exactly an error is it?

Communicating that corporate devices are to be used by employees of your company only, and more specifically by users assigned to the particular device alone, should come right from the start. Failing to do so could result in the downloading of malware, the leaking of corporate data and even create access to company banking systems. A two-factor authentication system could help from keeping these risks down.

3. Let’s talk about passwords

Passwords are private, secret and confidential. These powerful access codes can unleash a mountain of information with a few clicks at the keyboard and if they fall into the wrong hands, could cause sheer destruction to a company and its success.

Varying passwords across different platforms and backends, updating passwords regularly and keeping passwords safe with two-factor authentication systems could keep hold of your protected passwords and safeguard your business in turn.

Human error here could be quite impactful. Training sessions that explain to employees the best ways to manage their passwords could help your company save a lot of resources along the way.

But what if an error happens anyway?

Well, let’s be honest, errors in a company are bound to happen. It’s just the way life works, we make mistakes and learn from them. But when it comes to businesses, these mistakes could eventually lead to the destruction of a company and the termination of several employees; this is obviously not ideal to either business owners or employed staff.

Taking the above solutions into account and encouraging an educational environment in your workforce could help your company to grow without additional and avoidable human error. If you’re looking to protect your company’s security in the most effective way possible, you might need the help of data security experts 4Sight, to guide you towards a breach-free workplace.

Get in touch with our professionals for further information.