You work hard to create it, and you work hard to make it a success. But are you working hard enough to protect your business from the bad guys out there online? The answer might be that yes, you are doing everything you can. But then you must wonder about your employees. Are they doing everything they can to protect your business?
A recent discussion with a leading industry analyst along with a survey administered by Microsoft made it obvious that many of the security features you have in place on your site are simply forcing your employees to find other ways to share the very same information you are trying to protect.
Your employees aren’t a bad bunch, and they aren’t breaking any laws. But if your firewall is so strong it makes it hard to work with a colleague on a project, most employees simply find another way than the standard route to share knowledge. While you might appreciate the ingenuity of your employees, sharing data in unconventional ways does open the door rather widely to security breaks and high levels of risk.
Your Business at Risk
Web-based emails and chat platforms have become main stains for companies. But despite their heavy use, most feel the online platforms aren’t secure. This doesn’t prevent their continued use, however. The safety issue is simply something that must be dealt with, at least until a better solution can be found.
More then three fourths of major decision-makers use at least one public web tool to communicate with partners. These individuals include IT managers, chief intelligence officers and supply chain managers – the very people who are often responsible for setting up communications and security measures throughout the company.
A recent survey found that only 27-37% of key decision makers feel their communications and collaborations are completely secure. In addition to the open nature of web-based applications, many of these managers also were concerned that employees were sending files completely unprotected using email or other discussion systems.
To increase security, it is important to develop methods to encrypt emails and messages. This will help keep much of the actual information safe. Another popular method of security is to heavily restrict access to sensitive documents. But these measures help only as other sensitive documents, such as contracts and invoices fly through cyberspace virtually unprotected. And many times, employees simply find another way to get at the information they need which is so heavily protected.
You must protect your own business. If you are a key decision maker, reexamine your security procedures and look for loopholes that employees might be using. Spend time with your employees and ask them to show you areas of concern or simply observe their common tasks – not as a punishment, but to fully understand and problems you might have with your overall security setup.