Get your employees on board with security, risk management

Data security isn’t solely an IT problem. If your organization’s most sensitive data was compromised, the exposure could put every person in your company at risk. Why, then, do the majority of today’s organizations continue to task IT professionals alone with data protection and security?

According to the new 2015 IT Security and Privacy Survey from Protiviti, a third of companies lack data encryption, data classification and information security policies that apply to employees on a wide scale. Teams are learning how to better identify and protect sensitive data, but few are fully communicating best practices for file sharing and data management throughout their organizations. It’s not enough to recognize your company’s potential to improve data security; to protect your data before a breach occurs, risk management needs to be top of mind for every team member.

Protiviti’s survey raises valuable points about why a successful security program requires effort from the entire team. Below are some tips to help encourage your employees to buy in:

Educate your team. As noted by Warwick Ashford, security editor at ComputerWeekly, awareness is key to improving a company’s risk posture. Keep your employees up to date with security news and common causes of data theft and breach incidents. The more they know, the more they’ll be able to contribute to the company’s overall protection.

Set the right tone. Only 28 percent of organizations surveyed report that their board members are engaged with security issues. To ensure a secure environment, create risk management practices and security-conscious behavioral guidelines, and make sure your leadership team, C-level executives and board of directors are following them. When employees see their managers prioritizing data security, they’ll be more inclined to follow suit.

Continue to evaluate and update your risk management approach. According to the survey, organizations that have policies in place for acceptable data use, encryption and other key security tactics demonstrate confidence and strong capabilities when it comes to facing risks. While few companies feel that they could fully prevent a breach – from an internal or an external source – two out of three organizations plan to become more focused on cybersecurity in the future. 

Once you’ve provided the tools and information needed to create a secure environment, and demonstrated that even the highest ranks of the company are committed to security policies, every employee can help protect your sensitive files.

Find out how to define, detect and defend confidential data in your system.

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Jeff Boehm

Jeff Boehm

Jeff Boehm was the vice president of marketing at DataGravity for 2 years. Jeff brought more than 20 years of experience with a rare combination of marketing skills, organizational leadership and technical background to DataGravity, having shaped the BI and search markets working for industry pioneers and disrupters.