The risk of data leakage to companies is immense and covers all types of industries. Last year, the Identity Theft Resource Center documented 447 breaches in the U.S. that exposed 17.3 million records, and there have been 255 breaches in the first six months of this year that have exposed 6.2 million records. Globally, the cost of a data breach averages $136 per compromised record, according to the Ponemon Institute and Symantec . When employees fail to observe correct security protocols, even down to the basics like login and logout procedures, it can cause serious damage to any business.
The State of Login & Logout
Using a login and password to protect important data is one of the oldest security measures in the book. You may be surprised to learn, however, that one in three employees doesn’t bother to log off his or her work computer when leaving for lunch or the day, Cisco found. This means one out of three employees leaves company data unguarded on a daily basis.
To make matters worse, one in five employees writes down important login information and stores it on his computer or in obvious locations like a desk or pasted to the computer. Many employees are often guilty of leaving company laptops out in the open and logged in, too. This allows would-be thieves access to important data at their convenience. They can steal the laptop now and take it home to examine later.
U.S. Isn’t Alone
Employers are often surprised that employees fail to observe such a simple security measure, but studies indicates that this problem persists across the world. Cisco obtained its data by surveying IT professionals in a range of industries from 10 different countries.
While 18 percent of employees chose to share important login information with co-workers in the U.S., 25 percent chose to do so in places like Italy, China and India. U.S. employers are not alone in their need for establishing better security guidelines for employees.
Data security must be instilled into employees at the most basic level. Behaviors such as failing to guard login and logout information and failure to perform basic login and logout security protocols are part of a much bigger problem. Negligence is responsible for 39 percent of data breaches, LifeLock reports, and employees do not fully grasp the severity of the situation.
Cisco recommends a comprehensive solution that tracks your company data and involves extensive and ongoing training. Your employees must understand and be reminded regularly of how important company data is. They need to be trained, from the lowest-level employee to the highest, to guard that data as part of their job.
When data breaches do happen, as an employer you need to know immediately. Employees should be made to feel comfortable reporting suspicious activity. They should also be comfortable reporting security issues even if the breach was caused by something they did. This will ensure you know immediately and will help you mitigate the damage.
An Ongoing Process
Understanding the facts of the situation is only the first step. As an employer, you must work continuously to create a security-conscious work environment. Ongoing effort is a must to prevent the threat of data breaches.
LEXINGTON, Ky., (Feb. 14, 2017) – Kentucky Small Business Development Center is seeking nominations for the 2017 Pacesetter Awards. The recognition program was created to honor high performing, second-stage businesses that are changing Kentucky’s economic landscape. The deadline to submit nominations is March 15.
KSBDC encourages small businesses that meet the following minimum qualifications to apply:
· Privately held
· In business for three or more years
· Employ six or more full-time employees, including the owner
· Annual sales meet or exceed $500,000
· Located and headquartered in Kentucky
·Demonstrate the intent and capacity to grow evidenced by the judging criteria.
Pacesetters will be selected based on two or more of the following criteria:
· Growth in the number of employees
·Increase in sales and/or unit volume
· Innovativeness of the product or service
·Response to adversity
·Employee engagement and commitment
·Contributions by the nominee to aid community-oriented projects
Pacesetters will be recognized at the Kentucky Celebrates Small Business event held at the Capitol rotunda in Frankfort during the first week of May. Each honoree will receive an award inscribed with the business’s name and a promotional video for their own use that highlights the business. In addition, KSBDC will send a customized press release announcing the award to local media and trade associations. Honorees are given the rights to use the Kentucky Pacesetter logo and event photographs in promoting their business.
Anyone may submit nominations, including third parties associated with an eligible second-stage business. A business may self-nominate by completing the required form. Winners will be notified by March 27. Full nomination requirements and the application are online at https://www.ksbdc.org/kentucky-pacesetters1 .
The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 12 offices located throughout the state. The center helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. More information on KSBDC services can be found on their website, http://www.ksbdc.org/ .
Writer: Roberta Meisel, 859-257-0104
UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.