Cybersecurity is a challenge for both small and medium-sized businesses. It has become increasingly apparent that to remain competitive, businesses need to:
- keep their data secure,
- protect their own interests,
- protect customers’ interests, and
- avoid regulatory fines.
Key Cybersecurity Statistics
Additionally, the social aspect of cybercrime is very important. Consider the following statistics:
- According to a Biscom study, more than one in four departing employees steal data when leaving
- Softactivity claims that 34% of cyber breaches are caused by employee negligence or malfeasance.
- According to IBM, the average cost to a company of a single global data breach is $4.45 million.
- The Department of Justice has reported that in 2021, 23.9 million people over 16 years old — 9% of US residents — had their identities stolen.
Tips for Employers
Businesses should view protecting customers and employees from identity theft and data breaches as a safety issue. Below are just a few tips that employees should be trained on to keep personal information safe:
- Employees play a central role in keeping data safe. Strong passwords really are the front line of defense. Choose different passwords for all of your accounts, and always create passwords that a potential hacker or data thief cannot easily guess. Avoid writing down passwords, and if you do, keep them in a secure location such as a locked file cabinet.
- Data breaches occur when unauthorized individuals access and steal confidential data. This data could include credit card or bank details, trade secrets, or intellectual property. To protect against this, businesses should physically lock computers in a safe place or use digital locks to block unwanted access. Back-up all sensitive information a secure server.
- In “Phishing” scams, individuals send emails claiming to be from legitimate websites needing personal identifiable information. These messages often request passwords or some other personal data, which cyber criminals use to steal or delete information. Phishing emails often include links that, when clicked on, install malware on your computer. This software gains access to networks and steals sensitive information. Never respond to an email you don’t recognize, and never install unlicensed software on your computer.
Data breaches are a source of anxiety for HR managers and IT professionals no matter the size of the company. In addition, government agencies are prosecuting cybersecurity breaches just as they prosecute wage & hour and workplace safety violations. Furthermore, failure to comply with cybersecurity basics can result in penalties up to $10,000 per violation and/or costly lawsuits alleging negligence in failing to protect customer and employee sensitive personal information. Now that identity theft and data breaches are a fact of life, businesses owe it to themselves to learn all they can about proper cybersecurity.
To assist employers in properly training workers, Personnel Concepts has created the Cybersecurity Awareness Training Program. This interactive training can help employers take reasonable steps to identify the threats of cybersecurity in the workplace and perform the necessary steps to help reduce the threats via employee training.
NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.