According to the Ponemon Institute, the costs associated with data breaches caused by careless or malicious employees can be very damaging to an SMB. Ponemon’s survey found that 60 percent of exiting employees walked out with company information.

Additionally, the productivity loss caused by unmonitored employees is costing small businesses more than they realize. The average unmonitored employee wastes approximately 30 percent of his workday on non-work-related Internet activities. Many business, however, do not have the time nor the resources to develop an effective security policy. As the workforce adopts mobile devices and tablet computers as necessary work tools it is essential that businesses stay on top of employee activity.

Ron Penna, chief strategy officer at Awareness Technologies, has outlined several employee monitoring approaches that small businesses can use to protect their intellectual property, prevent vital information from being leaked and maximize employee productivity.

  • Evaluate employee security and monitoring procedures to address the increasing threat posed by untrained, careless or malicious employees
  • Limit employee access to certain Websites by blocking inappropriate Websites on both on- and off-network connected computers, especially off-network laptops
  • Restrict user privileges based on the role of the user in the company
  • Implement policies that forbid employees from copying files onto removable media like USB drives or transmitting them via Web mail systems and social networks
  • Enact policies on keeping copies of files contained on company laptops and periodically refresh the list, so that businesses have a record of information in the event of laptop theft or loss
  • Consider installing laptop and mobile protection software that allows for the ability to remotely access and delete data from devices in the instances where they are lost or stolen.

“Don’t make the mistake of relying solely on encryption to ensure that information remains confidential,” Penna said. “Set behavioral triggers to notify appropriate department heads when risky behaviors are conducted by employees in their department such as transmitting confidential information to unauthorized parties or participation in unproductive or inappropriate activities.”

Learn More
ACE IT Solutions is holding a webinar in partnership with Awareness Technologies to help businesses understand how data is stolen from their company and how to deploy an effective data loss prevention policy.

Join ACE IT Solutions on Thursday, September 15, 1:30 – 2:30 EST as we help you evaluate your Data Loss Prevention (DLP) strategy. We will also illustrate how to implement an effective DLP solution. Space is limited, so please REGISTER early.

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