Why Your Employees are Your First Line of Defense Against a Data Breach

slacking employee feet propped up on a desk

When you think data breach, you’re probably picturing some masked hackers in hoodies in a dimly lit room with nefarious intentions. And, hey, you may be right. But what if your first line of defense against a data breach isn’t the sophisticated cyber security software that you should still definitely be using, but your employees?

You May Be Underestimating How Your Employees Impact Data Security

Our people are often our greatest assets and our biggest liabilities. A well-trained staff can have an exponentially positive impact on data security, just as poorly trained staff can negatively affect your patients’ and clients’ privacy.

This is the main reason that the federal guidelines for designing a financial safeguards program and the NIST Cybersecurity Framework both stress the importance of on-going employee training as crucial to data security. Even the most sophisticated software programs cannot keep your sensitive data safe if your employees are not following your privacy and data security guidelines.

How Employees Make Data Vulnerable

  • Using personal devices to perform work duties
  • Connecting personal devices to the secure work network
  • Checking personal emails and accounts on work devices
  • Leaving papers/folders open or unsecured in public areas
  • Throwing away sensitive documents instead of securely shredding confidential information

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