Employee Behavior and Security Effectiveness

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 @ 03:06 PM gHale

Source: OpenVPN

One quarter of employees are creatures of habit and end up reusing the same password, a new survey found.

On top of that, 23 percent of employees said they very frequently click on links before verifying they lead to a website they intended to visit, according to a survey by OpenVPN.

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That is all why a company needs a solid cybersecurity program that everyone in the firm is aware of.

Take password usage. Employees create passwords they can easily remember, but this usually results in weak security that hackers can bypass with brute force attacks, the survey said. Similarly, individuals who use the same password to protect multiple portals — like their bank account, email and social media — risk compromising personal and work information.

To reinforce strong password habits, some employers have adopted biometric passwords, combining ease-of-use with security.

To that point, 77 percent of employees trust biometric passwords, and 62 percent believe they are stronger than traditional alphanumeric codes.

But even among those who trust things like fingerprint scans and facial recognition, user adoption is lagging — just a little more than half of employees (55 percent) use biometric passwords.

Convenience also plays a factor in determining how employees approach cybersecurity behaviors.

Source: OpenVPN

Some workers are unwilling to trade the convenience of basic passwords and certain technologies for secure cyber habits.

Employees are reluctant to abandon things like voice-activated assistants, for example, even though 24 percent of them believe it has the potential to be hacked.

Three percent of employees actually stopped using their Alexas and Google Homes out of fear of being hacked. This signals to employers that even when employees know the security risks associated with a certain technology, they will ignore the warning signs and continue to use it because of its convenience.

Employers have a responsibility to teach their employees good cyber habits to protect themselves and business operations from malicious actors. Simply telling people to avoid visiting infected websites isn’t enough, 57 percent of millennials admit to frequently clicking on links before verifying they lead to a website they were intending to visit.

Unlike traditional approaches to cybersecurity, a cyber hygiene routine encourages employees to proactively think about the choices they make on the Internet.

In addition to thorough security education and clear communications, employers can implement the following tips to help employees:
• Promote positive reinforcement when employees make smart decisions
• Offer continuous training on best practices.
• Build a work culture centered around good cyber hygiene



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