Data Leaks: How to Eliminate Employee Error

Cole PrudenData Breaches, Data Leak Prevention, Personal Data Protection, Reducing Employee Negligence

Nearly 90% of breach incidents are caused by human error. No matter the size of the company, the employees hold the key to reducing potential data loss. What can you do to eliminate data leaks from occurring in your business?

What is a Data Leak?

A data leak, often called a data breach, is the intentional or unintentional release of secure or private information to an untrusted environment (to learn even more about data leaks, be sure to check out our three recommended best practices.

Such a leak can be caused by a number of factors, everything from hackers to computer fraud. However, as unlikely as it may seem, the number one cause of data leaks is human error.

Source: CVG Strategy

Employee Negligence

Within the category of “human” or “employee” error, you’ll find multiple cases leading to a loss of data. According to Bloomberg BNS, over one-third of incidents were the result of employee negligence (compared to only 22% of external cyber attacks). Negligence comes in many forms; for example, a surprising 25% of employees don’t even lock their work computer when they leave their desk.

Employees can also be tricked by phishing attacks. Essentially, an employee receives an email from whom they believe to be their boss or CEO asking for sensitive information (passwords, regulation-protected PII, etc.). Without thinking twice, the employee emails back the requested information, and that’s all it takes. Data leaked.

Ways to Combat Negligence

The most effective method for eliminating data leaks caused by human error starts at the top. If the employees intimately know not only their management team but also their boss or even the company’s CEO, they can avoid phishing attempts with ease. Did you just get an email from your “boss” asking for sensitive corporate information? If you already communicate with your boss often, you’ll have no problem recognizing a fake or suspicious email.

Once this management/boss-employee relationship is established, employees can then apply what they learned in cybersecurity training by following the example of their superiors. If they see their manager frequently speaking of proper data loss prevention techniques, they’ll remember to follow suit. This includes everything from locking their unattended computers to reporting suspicious emails/communication.

Data Leak Management

Unfortunately, data breaches still take place no matter how well-trained employees are. Luckily, there are more measures you can implement to prevent a data leak before it happens. PII Tools is used by corporate infosec, legal and DPO teams for data protection. The software’s primary function is to provide accurate PII scans, enabling companies to discover sensitive data and take remedial action quickly.

Even after having taken these precautionary steps, data leak prevention is never 100% guaranteed. For this very reason, you’ll find the data breach management feature included in PII Tools’ arsenal. This gives you the options to:

  • React quickly to identify whose data was affected
  • Analyze millions of leaked files or emails for all types of PII
  • Generate detailed, interactive reports about your findings
  • Use those reports and information to take actionable steps to prevent data from being leaked this way again

Using Every Tool to Prevent Data Leaks

To help eliminate data leaks of sensitive information, start from the CEO down. Then train the employees to follow the example of those in charge who place a repeating emphasis on proper data loss prevention tactics. And, finally, implement the best software available to fill the gaps that are left over.

No matter what you do, people will always make mistakes. It’s up to you to minimize those mistakes and safeguard your company’s data. Take data protection to the next level; implement PII Tools and help eliminate data breaches caused by human error.

See How PII Tools Helps with Breach Incident Responses.