Security Slideshow: High-Risk Employee Behavior: 10 Areas to Watch

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 01-11-2011

Dangerous browsing habits

We know the dangers that lurk on the Internet. But your employees don't necessarily recognize this. Some Web sites are crawling with malware, while others can potentially send employees to dangerous sites. Make education a priority and keep a close eye on browsing habits.

Dangerous browsing habits

The attachment war

E-mail attachments can be dangerous. Employees should be made fully aware that, even if they receive an E-mail from someone they know, they can't necessarily trust that the attachment is safe. Do all your employees know this?

The attachment war

Rooting out spam

Although you undoubtedly have spam filters, far too many unwanted messages sneak through even the most capable solutions. Teach employees to quickly and easily spot spam and encourage them to delete these messages without clicking on them.

Rooting out spam

Backup early & often

Believe it or not, some companies forget about the importance of backups. Hard drives fail, servers can go down, and having redundant storage in place only goes so far. Educate your employees about the company's data-backup policies and make sure they're abiding by these.

Backup early & often

Unauthorized software

Applications are creeping into the enterprise through every crack and crevice. Policies will only be followed if there are consequences for violators. Make sure employees know that if they're using software that hasn't been authorized for use on their corporate computers, it must be removed immediately - and then make sure this actually happens. Unauthorized software can cause major productivity and security issues.

Unauthorized software

The lowly USB drive

They're ubiquitous and capable of storing large amounts of data. A USB was the alleged medium by which U.S. Diplomatic cables were shared with WikiLeaks. What's your USB policy? Set it, and don't forget it.

The lowly USB drive

Social media

If you don't already have a use policy regarding sites such as Facebook and Twitter, this is the year to create one. Remind employees of the dangers that can lurk in links shared on social networks, and teach them to be healthy skeptics about how they use these tools to share information.

Social media

Tablets, smartphones are everywhere

It's up to you to make sure that when employees access corporate data on those devices, they're doing so securely. Educate employees about encryption, updating security settings and backing up data on mobile devices as often as they do on PCs. Make sure you've got the right IT administrative tools to manage your growing mobile user base.

Tablets, smartphones are everywhere

The mobile employee

Workers are more likely to engage in dangerous behaviors when they're away from the office and the prying eyes of IT staff. Moreover, you need to be concerned about how they're transferring data over unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Having several mobile safeguards in place should be a top priority in 2011.

The mobile employee

Distractions = lost productivity

There are more distractions vying for your employees' attention today than ever before. Social media, mobile apps, games, online content, online shopping-these are all lures that beckon the procrastinators among us. Figure out how much fun is too much fun, set policies, and then enforce those limits.

Distractions = lost productivity