Monday, January 27, 2014

Senior managers are the worst information security risk offenders

Employees Believe Company and Information is at Risk

American businesses need to fortify their protections against information security threats. In a recent flash survey of American office workers, Stroz Friedberg explored the state of information security in U.S. businesses. The reality is rather bleak.

More than half of respondents gave corporate America’s response to cyber threats a grade C or lower. Nearly three-quarters of respondents expressed concerned that a hacker could break into their employers’ computer networks and steal their personal information.

Worst Offenders in High Risk Electronic Behavior are Senior Managers

But many respondents also admitted to engaging in high-risk behaviors, such as uploading work files to their personal email and cloud accounts, and accidentally sending sensitive information to the wrong person. Senior management—those who often have high levels of access to valuable company information—admitted to partaking in risky behaviors most readily. Personal technology preferences contributed to many of the transgressions.

One bright spot is the efficacy of company policy. Workers who said they did not participate in high-risk behaviors cited strict company policy as the reason why.

When company information gets into the wrong hands—whether it’s due to a careless insider, a malicious insider, or a hacker—a business can lose the trust of its customers, partners, and investors, as well as its competitive advantages. Knowledge about real-life risks in the workplace and how companies are successfully managing high-risk behaviors can help business leaders better understand how to protect their firms.

By Guest Blogger: Stroz Friedberg