Worker Security Awareness

Playing Big Brother

No one wants to play the particular bad guy by monitoring every single activity that an user makes. However , the particular unfortunate reality is that a good portion of security breaches are caused by staff members, whether or not inadvertently or intentionally.

Incidents of both kinds come in a variety of types:
•Theft of credit card or additional financial information by unethical employees.
•Opening infected e-mail attachments from unknown or untrusted senders.
•Forgetting to log off workstations at the end of the day.
•Disclosing passwords to coworkers, family, or friends.
•Installing unauthorized software on workstation PCs.

Act Very first, Think Later

It’s one thing to foster a corporate culture that embraces security as a core worth, but it’s quite another to do this at the sacrifice of actual security technology investments. Gartner recommends that will before companies even start thinking of implementing a security awareness program, they ought to:
•Solidify and strengthen all enterprise security systems and technologies.
•Establish formal practices and support regarding workers using these systems.
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•Invest in security awareness only when the two previous steps are complete.

Action Plan

An effective security awareness program is one that will compels all employees to take an equal share of the responsibility for the safety of company assets. Bear in mind, nevertheless , that awareness alone can never substitute comprehensive security policies.

1 . Establish your expectations for the users. Increasing awareness ultimately means changing people’s behavior. In addition to your existing non-disclosure and technology acceptable use policies, speak with HR to make employee details security responsibilities a condition of employment (strictly on a per case basis, of course). Also:
-Give precise explanations of what actually constitutes a security incident.
-Establish concise instructions to get reporting security breaches, events, or even incidents.
-Conduct basic security understanding “lunch and learn” sessions with regard to staff members.
-Be sure to clearly publish all security-related documents on the company’s intranet.

2 . Make employees the particular centerpiece of attention. Stress partnerships and people, not technology and policing. Empower them by stating their critical role in information protection. For example , avoid statements that say “Do this, ” or “Don’t do that. ” Instead, use positive, collaborative wording like “Your function is […], ” or even “You can make a difference by […]. ” Try to use disciplinary action as a last resort only.

3. Measure the effectiveness of the system. Periodic security quizzes or testing are a good way to promote and measure the program’s success among the employee bottom. Another method is to put a counter-top on the number of hits on the security documents section of the intranet. Exactly where possible, employ power users inside various departments to help you spread the term and make progress checks.

4. Communicate successes. Keep the lines of communication open with employees. Send out updates on existing and upcoming security initiatives, as well as the background or rationale behind such decisions. If possible, set up a graphic security “barometer” on the corporate intranet to display the organization’s current security status.

five. Keep the program flexible. What is regarded as a security best practice today might be obsolete tomorrow. Allow for some elasticity in your program, taking into account such factors as: changing business models and objectives; the introduction of new technologies; growing security threats and/or new viruses; and growth of the network and the user base (i. e. resulting in a greater number of points of vulnerability).

6. Expect realistic results, not really miracles. Malicious insiders in particular will stay difficult to stop by implementing a security awareness program, especially if they are determined to hack and burn. It’s kind of like the us government enacting a law that restricts the number of bullets allowed in a weapon, and then expecting bank robbers to obey it. Still, simply offerring the repercussions of security breaches to employees will go a long way toward preventing them.

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