Human error is one of the biggest causes of computer security incidents. It’s at least a contributing factor in the large majority of them. Carelessness in viewing email or attending to a device usually made it possible. Cases where people’s mistakes are partly or entirely to blame account for 84% of all incidents.
A simple mistake, such as sending email to the wrong address or setting access permissions incorrectly, can expose customers to serious financial loss. When a business can reduce human error, it makes a huge difference in security and customer satisfaction.
People make mistakes, even with the best of precautions. They make more when they don’t have enough training, they’re rushed, or their tired. Perhaps more than anything else, they make mistakes when they think nobody cares. Creating a culture of security in a business lets people develop habits that prevent mistakes.
Several factors can contribute to the culture of security:
- Training. Good training should include periodic reviews to keep effects from fading.
- Standardized procedures. Consistently taking prescribed steps reduces errors. Checklists are a valuable resource.
- Reducing distraction and fatigue. People make mistakes when they have to deal with interruptions. Organizing the work environment and employee’s schedule so people can focus better will reduce the chance of error.
- Testing employees’ skills and habits. Sending out a controlled “phishing” email to employees and seeing which ones fall for it will identify people who need a reminder.
- Applying disciplinary measures when necessary. Having to do this is an unfortunate necessity. The measures should come across as reminding the employee to practice better security, not as punishment for its own sake.
In addition, technical measures can reduce the chance of error:
- Deploying security-friendly software. When employees don’t have software tools that make it easy to manage information securely, they’ll make mistakes. Treeno Application Integration and Treeno Workflow Automation let employees securely and centrally manage information across diverse applications. Consistent, secure, easy-to-use tools reduce the chance of breaches.
- Secure authentication practices. Systems should force the user to choose a strong password and encrypt your client documents while in transfer and at rest.
- Automating standard process. Automating approval review processes with tools such as Treeno Workflow Automation ensures consistency and compliance.
- Securely and efficiently capture and store confidential information. Treeno Integration will streamline the secure movement of information and automate the filing and retrieval of business documents from the native applications.
- Filtering out spam email. If people never get a phishing message, they won’t open its attachment and let malware in.
An organization that applies these measures consistently will greatly reduce the number of mistakes that could cause security incidents. Nothing can prevent all mistakes, though, so a security policy needs to include detection and mitigation of mistakes. System monitoring, audits, and analysis of security incidents are important.
In a business with a security-conscious culture, people will make fewer errors. That translates into reduced risk of security breaches, higher customer confidence, and greater profitability.