IT | Security

The Human Factor in IT Security

By: Absolute Editorial Team | 9/1/2014

In today’s modern age there are many threats to a company’s data security. These threats can not only cause financial damage, but can seriously harm the reputation of the business in question. I just wrote an article for HR Zone about the “Human Factor” that contributes to many data breaches and how to mitigate these risks.

Gartner estimates that "by 2016, 20% of CIOs in regulated industries will lose their jobs for failing to implement the discipline of information governance successfully.” We've already seen examples like this, such as with Target’s major breach.

Research from the Ponemon Institute suggests that 64% of data breaches are the result of the “human factor” / negligence and system glitches (IT and business process failures). Hacking isn't the source of the majority of data breaches, people are. Thankfully, this means there is an opportunity for businesses to improve.

According to our own findings23% of employees believe that data is security is “not their responsibility,” so they should not be held accountable if they leak or lose company data. Given that 59% of employees believe the corporate data on their phone is worth less than $500, there is an obvious disconnect about the value of data and the role each employee plays in protecting it. Most “human factor” data breaches are not malicious or deliberate. People make mistakes. Education can go a long way to improve that.

In the remainder of my article, I talk about empowering employees as the “first line of defence” in IT security and how adopting a holistic approach to data security can mitigate many of the “human factors” that can inadvertently put corporate data at risk.