Insider Data Loss: The Good, The Bad and The Careless

September 23, 2016

You’ll find three patterns of behavior in most businesses.

There’s the good: the default behavior of diligent employees who are ambitious and always eager to get the best job done.

Then there’s the bad: typically shown by folks who are looking ahead to their next career move and always aiming to take more than they give.

Finally, there’s the careless: sloppy, rushed work that’s full of avoidable mistakes.

So now think about those three behavior patterns in the context of the data that’s flowing around your business. Think about your customer files, employee records, financial data and intellectual property.

Your team needs to handle these data types all the time to get their jobs done.

But mistakes can be costly.

Mishandle, misplace – plain lose – that data and you’re facing a clean-up cost that can run into tens of thousands of dollars. And that’s to say nothing of the ongoing damage to your market reputation.

Bad behavior patterns translate into theft, fraud and disruption. We’re talking about the sales manager who copies a client list to take to their next job. We’re talking about the engineer who sells a new design to a competitor. The disgruntled employee who deletes material before disappearing out the door. And we’re talking about the accountant who steals a few dollars under the radar every month.

You don’t find out about it until months later – typically six months after the breach has happened.

Then there’s the careless behavior pattern.

Here’ll you’ll find emails being misdirected and data being sent to the wrong recipient: an accidental data breach.

You’ll find confidential work files being mixed up with photos of friends and family on personal smartphones and laptops.

You’ll find the infamous 1,2,3,4,5,6 password – the most common in the world and the hacker’s easy way into a company network.

The problem is, even your best employees can have an off day when careless mistakes are made.

And even the best can be suckered into an honest error.

For example, there’s the good old phishing scam – one of the most persistent and successful online frauds. One click on a bogus link in an email message and your network’s perimeter security has been breached.

Recently there’s been the rise of a new scam, the “Business Email Compromise” or BEC fraud.

This scam preys on the good behavior pattern. Employees receive an email that appears to be from their boss asking for an urgent transfer of funds or information. But the email is a fake and the recipient disappears as soon as they have the information or money.

According to the FBI, this scam can cost the target business anything from $25,000 to $75,000.

More than 17,600 cases have been investigated by the authorities in the last three years.

So what’s the answer to good, bad and careless behavior patterns in the workplace? This is where technology can augment and improve the performance of human managers.

Data Loss Prevention technology can monitor what information is being shared, by whom and with whom.

It can prevent accidental breaches and bring malicious attempts to steal or misuse data to a sharp stop.

Want to know more?

Read our free Quick Guide to Data Loss Prevention and you’ll learn more about workplace behavior patterns and how technology can help reduce risks – and avoid costly breaches.

After all, you can only manage what you can see – and technology is far faster on the draw than human intelligence when it comes to dealing with The Good, The Bad and the Careless.

Categorized in:

Tags: ,