Bored and distracted employees are biggest potential risk to security

June 26, 2017
Employees who become distracted at work are more likely to be the cause of human error and a potential security risk.

This is according to a poll conducted by Centrify into how human error might lead to data security risks within organisations.

More than half  of respondents (57%) believe businesses will eventually trust technology enough to replace employees as a way of avoiding human error in the workplace.

The main causes of human error given by respondents were:

  • distraction and boredom (35%)
  • heavy workloads (19%)
  • excessive policies and compliance regulations (5%)
  • social media (5 per cent)
  • password sharing (4%)

Poor management was also highlighted by 11%, while 8% believe human error is caused by not recognising our data security responsibilities at work.

Accepting responsibility

Despite the potential risks of human error at work, however, nearly three-quarters (74%) feel it is the responsibility of the employee, rather than technology, to ensure that their company avoids a potential data breach.

“It’s interesting that the majority of security professionals we surveyed are confident that businesses will trust technology enough to replace people so that fewer mistakes are made at work, yet on the other hand firmly put the responsibility for data security in the hands of employees rather than technology,” comments Andy Heather, VP and Managing Director, Centrify EMEA.

“It seems that we as employees are both responsible and responsible. So responsible for making mistakes and responsible for avoiding a potential data breach. It shows just how aware we need to be at work about what we do and how we behave when it comes to our work practices in general and our security practices in particular.”

The poll comes just weeks after Centrify launched a Ponemon study looking at the impact of data breaches on reputation and share value. This showed that, for companies that had suffered more than one data breach, IT practitioners cited employee carelessness as the cause of 72% of them.

SOURCE: Centrify

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