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How To Prevent Human Error In Cyber Security

10 February 2021

With a large section of the population working at home due to the current coronavirus restrictions, many businesses have been forced to look at the cyber security measures they currently have in place. 

Surprisingly, data from the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which was analysed by the cyber security awareness company Cybsafe in 2019, found that up to 90% of cyber data breaches are caused by user error. This shocking statistic is in comparison to 61% and 87% from the previous two years, proving that data compromises are growing year on year. 

It was discovered that phishing was the highest cause of problems. This made up 45% of reports, and was followed by instances of unauthorised access. 

So what does this mean for companies who have moved their workforce out of their offices and may be at a higher risk of cyber security breaches? 

First, it’s important to acknowledge that staff can make mistakes for a variety of reasons and malicious intent is often low on the list. Whether it’s because they lack the appropriate knowledge to act in a secure manner, or whether it’s a simple mistake due to human error, businesses need to be aware of the efforts they can go to in order to prevent any possible problems in the future. 


Make Security Details a Privilege 

Rather than giving your full team important login details or access to protected systems, make sure only those who need to know the credentials are provided with them. 

If you keep an up-to-date record of who has access to these details, your staff have more accountability to ensure they’re being as safe and careful as possible with the information you’ve trusted them with. 


Look at Your Password Management & Security 

As mentioned in our previous blog article, it’s vital that passwords are created within safe parameters. Make sure they’re of a suitable length, contain upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters and are unique. 

It’s also worth using an online password vault to ensure important passwords are not written down or shared via email or messaging software; this will be particularly helpful now many are working from home. 


Encourage Staff To Ask Questions When Unsure 

Reports have shown that up to 40% of staff would rather hide details of a cyber data breach than tell their boss or colleagues that they’ve made an error, but this attitude can cause more damage than the original breach. 

It’s important that your team feel they can share any simple human mistakes with you, in order to get them fixed and the damage limited as much as possible. Create a culture of openness and ask staff to alert a senior member of the team or your IT support company as soon as any errors occur. 


Focus on Training to Ensure Competence 

Although this can depend on company size and the complexity of the data you’re handling, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re training your employees on the safest way to manage your company’s data to minimise the risk of any compromises. Whether that’s on how to use an online password vault or how to protect your client’s data, putting some simple steps and documentation in place here could save you a lot of hassle further down the line.  


Get It Right From The Start 

It can be difficult to try to solve an issue when the damage has already been done and your team is uncertain of what’s happened and unsure of how to prevent any future cyber data breaches. 

As a specialist IT support company, ICT Solutions are committed to providing a comprehensive level of support for your business – we can discuss any IT challenges you’ve been having and how to put them right. It’s often this initial groundwork and expertise which can help to avoid any human error mistakes in the short and long term, saving you time and money. 


Engage a Business IT Support Team To Help If Things Do Go Wrong 

Things do tend to go wrong from time to time and this is when having an external team you can count on for guidance and support is vital. With business IT support, your dedicated ICT account manager will take full responsibility for supporting, resolving and keeping you informed of all IT and cloud services.

We constantly monitor both your system and the world of IT to anticipate any problems on the horizon so if any instances of cyber security breaches occur – whether that’s through malware or simple human error, we can help get you back on track.