Promoting Data Security in the Workplace

4 min read

No matter the workplace, data security is often a top concern for management professionals. Security breaches can end up threatening the livelihood of employees and entire companies alike, depending on how severe they are. There are solutions available to

To learn more about data security in the workplace, checkout this infographic compiled by the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Online Master of Science in Management Information Systems program.

Employees and General Information Security

Over eighty percent of companies say that their biggest security threat is end user carelessness. Seventy five percent of companies also believe that employee negligence is their greatest security threat. Three percent of all United States full time employees admitted to using the same collection of passwords for their online needs. A third of this percentage even admitted to using less than five different passwords to access anywhere between twenty five to fifty websites, some of which were business and professional locations. Over thirty three percent of US companies do not have a security plan for internal security risks, which means personal responsibility is the largest deterrent in a vast majority of these incidents.

Top Mistakes

Many mistakes committed by employees are entirely avoidable. Things such as sharing passwords with others and leaving their computers unattended outside the workplace all contribute to security problems. Employees are strongly encouraged to use different passwords for different websites, and to change them frequently. Additionally, it is important to delete data when it is no longer being used on the computer, as well as avoid connecting personal devices to company networks and databases.

Largest Threats to Information Security

Senior managers are as much a culprit of problematic behavior as their employees. Over fifty eight percent of senior managers have accidentally sent crucial and private company information to the wrong people. Fifty one percent of all senior managers have also taken private files from the company with them after they left the job. Business owners may end up compromising their own company’s security as well. Over eighty seven percent of all business owners regularly upload files from work to a personal cloud or storage network. Sixty three percent of those same business owners also use the same passwords to log into different systems in both business and personal affairs.

Tips on Promoting Security

There are many solutions that can be taken to help keep the workplace safe. One of the first of these is to implement a strict, written set of security guidelines. Enforcing physical restrictions to personal data is also recommended. Destroying older data in a more timely fashion can also help resolve many security risks. Generally raising security awareness in the workplace by training and educating employees in proper and improper behavior can be a good idea. All business owners and leaders are strongly encouraged to become more vocal about security in the workplace.

Employees and Specialized Training

Proper information and security training on a professional level can also help reduce the frequency and severity of security breaches. Over thirty seven percent of employees had received mobile security training, while over forty percent of employees had received information sharing training. Increasing this number can help spread security awareness in the workplace on a much more efficient level, and businesses are encouraged to introduce some type of professional training program.

Current Bring Your Own Device Practices

Fortunately, while there is room for improvement in many companies, management professionals are also looking into ways to help improve Bring Your Own Device standards and practices. Over forty percent of companies currently consider mobile device insecurities to be a large security concern. Fifteen percent of employees believe that they have minimal, or practically no, responsibility to safeguard the personal data stored on their devices. This type of thinking is what encourages security risks to occur in the first place. As a result, there is going to be an expected increase in security strategies of upwards of sixty four percent for employees concerning the use of their personal devices over the next twelve months.

Information Security Recommendations

Numerous security recommendations are already being considered by many companies and many businesses are planning on introducing more data leakage protection to help control what data mobile employees will be able to send through Bring Your Own Device practices. This can help prevent the transfer of regulated data through unsecured apps. These plans can also help prevent employees from accessing data on unsecured devices, or transferring unsecured data on their own devices. Future demands will also require owned devices to have a password necessary in order to access the stored data. Many training programs are also going to be planned as well, which will inform employees of the necessity of adhering to, and enforcing, data security regulations.

The following blog post was originally posted here and is reposted with the authors permission.


Mike McBride Technology Expert

A technology expert with many years of experience spanning the healthcare sector, cyber security, education, marketing, and online commerce. I've spearheaded web projects for Fortune 500 companies, as well as coordinating strategy for small companies to leverage their resources in order to compete alongside industry leaders.