The Biggest Risk to Your Critical Data? Human Error


The Biggest risk to your critical data? Human Error
November 4, 2016

The Biggest Risk to Your Critical Data? Human Error

Let’s face it, humans aren’t perfect. We all make mistakes and this includes with our daily IT security practices. Whether we aren’t educated on current risks or we accidentally make a mistake, things happen.

Did you know: According to Comptia’s Trends in Information Security Study, 52 percent of security and data breaches are because of human error?

Human error accounts for a large portion of a CIO’s concern for data security. With today’s advancements in cyber-crime, it’s necessary that organizations have tight security practices in place. Also, every business, large or small, must be prepared for when a data disaster occurs by having the proper backup and disaster recovery solution.

What classifies as human error?

Human error is defined as, the propensity for certain common mistakes by people; the making of an error as a natural results of being human.

Any organization with employees, so every single one, has some type of concern for security when it comes to human error. Employees usually can find ways around IT security policies, but even those employees that are careful can still make simple mistakes that put your sensitive data at risk. It can be hard to define what human error is because it comes in many forms and most of the time people don’t realize what they are doing. In the context of business security, human error usually happen with every day behaviors and actions. Something that seems harmless or unimportant could actually mean big security mishaps for your IT systems. Sometimes these actions are just bad habits that need broken by proper education of security risks.

Here are a few common human error examples:

Click Happy Uninformed Users

Education is the first step to stopping human error mistakes. Most employees don’t really know what malware is or how it is spread and activated on to a device. Without knowledge of the most recent and advanced threats, employees can become click happy on emails that bypass filters and expose the company network to viruses and malware. This could lead to serious issues for you and your clients. Start to educate your employees so they can spot malicious schemes and lower the risk of a data breach.

Careless Actions

In a lot of data breach cases, it’s a simple careless action that can bring your whole entire organization down. Filling out a form that has personal information without double checking its legitimacy, clicking on a tricky link or ad, printing documents with sensitive information and leaving them in the tray, writing a password on a sticky note and putting it on your monitor, etc. The list can go on and on. These actions that sometimes are never even questioned are the ones that can cause the most damage.

BYOM (bring your own malware)

With businesses adopting the BYOD (bring your own device) movement, it is important that your phones and devices are properly secured. You should be using mobile device management that can depict and decipher between what is work data and what is personal data to keep them as separate entities. As employees go onto unsecured sites and apps, you don’t want that to be able to affect your network.


Passwords are something that seems to be so basic and common knowledge. However, it can be the first thing that directs hackers into your company’s systems. It is so important to create strict password requirements and policies in your organizations. Make sure your employees are using mixtures of characters, numbers and letters to create strong passwords. Also, require employees to change default passwords immediately and every couple of months.

Data breaches and data security are on every company’s top priority lists as of late. Cybercriminals are sophisticating and advancing their techniques every day. Looking at some of the current data breaches in the headlines today makes a huge case for strengthening your IT security policies. Despite the huge risks that come along with human error, some people still believe it’s not as serious as other IT security issues due to the fact that human error is the most difficult concern to remediate.

Perfect IT security won’t happen in a day. There is a lot of planning and education that comes along with securing your organization’s sensitive information. Take the first step today and call a professional IT support specialist for more information on how to secure your organization. Contact NetServe365 today!


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