Security is an important ingredient of organizational success. A secure business builds trust and respect among its shareholders, partners, and customers. On the other hand, nobody wants to transact with businesses that have a shady reputation.
Unfortunately, even the most careful organizations can become vulnerable to security threats, which range from simple social-engineering scams to elaborate cyberattacks. These problems can come as a result of small oversights that business owners failed to spot from the get-go. You always need to be one step ahead when it comes to security and keeping your business safe. Here are four mistakes you should be aware of and how you can address them.
You’d think that everyone has learned to be more careful with their passwords in today’s highly digital world, but research suggests otherwise. Alarmingly, one out of five employees has said he or she shared their passwords with coworkers, according to a survey by Chicago-based IT consultancy Switchfast.
Your password works like a key to a safe that keeps your valuables. You should not lend that key to anyone. In the same way, you must keep your password secure and private. Before giving employees credentials to your company network and issuing them emails, let them undergo training that will teach them about password security and how to create a strong password. The training should also teach them what to do in case they forget their passwords. Sometimes, employees share their passwords to others to help them recall, which is why you need to provide them with a safer alternative of retrieving forgotten passwords.
Undefined Chain of Command
Your organization’s chain of command shows everyone the proper designation of responsibilities and authority in the group. This hierarchy ensures that your employees know whom they report to and whom they should turn to in certain situations. For example, your employees must know whom to report to if they notice suspicious activity in the network. Similarly, you should have a careful screening process for choosing personnel who will be handling sensitive activities like storing employee information, handling of electric lockpick tools, and issuing ID cards.
Don’t assume that your employees know the chain of command in your organization, especially if it has not been clearly mapped out. The organizational structure should be discussed thoroughly during employee onboarding. You may also want to post this chart in your HR department or in an area that workers can easily access.
Closed Communication Lines
Organizational safety requires constant improvement, and to make this possible, you need to keep communication lines open across the company. Some businesses make the mistake of relying only on security personnel and management for feedback. In reality, each employee from any department and rank can be an agent of safety. Their insights from their hands-on experiences on the floor can help you improve your current system or even create a more comprehensive one.
You can improve communication in your business by conducting weekly or monthly huddles to discuss security-related concerns. You can also provide a hotline they can call or an email address they can submit their suggestions to.
Unsecured Off Boarding for Outgoing Employees
Outgoing employees can be a security risk to the company, especially if you do not have a comprehensive off-boarding process in place. Employees who resign or are terminated must hand over every company-issued property, not just physical items like handbooks, laptops, mobile phones, and identification cards but also virtual ones like email accounts, pass codes, and credentials.
Employees who have left your company may still use their credentials to enter company premises or access the organization’s network illegally. Furthermore, if there is no proper turnover, sensitive information like passwords could be passed around and misused by ill-meaning individuals. Common procedures for off boarding include exit interviews and clearance, which will only be signed if they return all company-issued items.