Are you under the impression that data loss is all about putting up firewalls to protect against evil cyberattacks? Some of the biggest sources of data loss include sloppiness, human error, and just plain forgetfulness.
What are some of the unglamorous things that we do everyday that leave us vulnerable?
Old or easy passwords are a good first example. Employees set up simple passwords that are easy to crack. More importantly, employees may share passwords, and many often fail to create new ones on a frequent basis. Both of these represent critical breakdowns of good data protection practices. Enforcing complexity requirements can help as can regular security training.
Another significant problem caused by bad judgment is the tendency of people to open phishing scams. Almost everyone now knows about the Nigerian who wants to send money to your bank account, but many new scams come along every day and people fall for them. This is such a serious source of compromise that training tools deliberately send out phishing email to teach workers not to open anything from an unknown source. (The employee who opens one of these gets a pop up screen that tells them they've been tricked and then offers guidelines for identifying bad emails.)
Browsing the Web
Bad websites. Yes, everyone has policies about internet use at work, but that doesn't mean people pay attention and don't visit places they shouldn't. Most significantly, a lot of those "sites they shouldn't visit" are far more likely to be infected than CNN, Ebay or Amazon! But, even trusted sites are not always secure. Again, tools allow automatic blocking of dangerous content on sites, inspect traffic for malicious payloads and otherwise intercept code that could compromise your systems.
Losing Your Belongings
And finally, there is just old-fashioned forgetfulness. Phones left on a bar stool. Or the bus. Sigh. Do employees carelessly set down laptops or leave them visible in empty cars? There isn't much more to be said about this one.
To learn more about the risks that your employees pose to your business's data integrity, see our e-guide "Now you see it, There IT...Stays".