Your Accidental Mole: 5 Ways Your Employees Could Create a Data Leak

data leak

data leak4.5 billion data records were exposed in the first half of 2018.

Your data is vital to your company, and the last thing you want to happen is for it to fall into the wrong hands. Even though you may think your data is secure, careless employees can accidentally cause a data breach.

Read on for 5 of the ways your employees can accidentally cause a data leak, and what you can do to try and prevent it.

1. Sending To The Wrong People

Most businesses have had a situation where an employee accidentally sends an email with sensitive information to the wrong person. Even world leaders are not safe from this kind of mistake! We have all had that sinking feeling when we have clicked “reply all.” Imagine if there was confidential data attached.

That kind of error will likely have occurred at some point within your company. While it is only human error, it can cause distrust. Your customers might not feel safe that you can protect their confidential data.

2. Theft From Employee

Theft of a company item from an employee is unfortunate but common. This theft occurs when their laptops or phones with sensitive information get left out. It could be in a taxi or on the train, something simple like that.

It is easier to do than you think. Even large companies, like Apple, have had employees leave items behind. For example, the most recent case was their 2018 iPhone model that got leaked.

3. Phishing

Phishing is a very common way people gain access to sensitive company information. Weak password protection makes it easy to hack into a computer to leak data.

These attacks happen when pop-ups on a website ask for the user to give their information, such as their bank login. If you put in your information, and the password isn’t changed afterward, this information can put data at risk.

4. Losing Paperwork

Another common example of a human error is something as simple as losing paperwork. This incident does not even need the employee to log into any computers. You are likely to have some sensitive documents lying around and these need to be protected.

If your employees do not take measures to protect them, it can lead to theft. Once in a thief’s possession, they can scan and upload them to the internet.

5. Weak Passwords

It might seem obvious, but weak passwords are still a common reason behind data leakage. Sometimes thieves get them from phishing scams and malware. Other times, they are too easy to guess.

To protect your business, put in place a multi-factor authentication for all employees. This process is where they cannot log into the network without also putting in a code sent to their phone or second device. It will also tell you when people are attempting to log in.

Make sure also to have employees change their passwords monthly, if not weekly.

Avoiding a Data Leak

As you can see, an employee can accidentally cause a major data leak easily.

There are always people looking to take advantage of careless employees. Just copying someone into an email or misplacing a folder can see confidential data pass to the wrong people!

Always make sure that your employees are trained to recognize scams and appreciate the importance of your data. Make sure to check out the best data security tools available to add extra data protection for your business instantly.

Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.