With more and more of us working from home more often than not, online security is a bigger concern for businesses than ever before. But rather than dramatic attacks from outside sources, 90% of data breaches are actually caused by human error, says security firm Ziver. Distractions at work (whether at home or in the office) are among the factors that create errors that can lead to these data breaches. We asked three experts about the issues that can dent productivity, distract employees, and compromise safety—and how they can be mitigated.
Tech companies have come up with tons of tools to help us communicate – but when it comes to focus and productivity, they can help as well as hinder.
“Tech makes communication faster, more efficient, and more accessible, allowing people around the world to work together – but it has created a lot of distractions along the way,” says business coach and productivity expert Jess Salamanca. “Having multiple tabs open, switching between communication platforms, not knowing how to use these devices properly… all of this means people get distracted. Switching from one to the other after a task But it can take up to 23 minutes to focus again. If you forget your password, or you’re struggling to find the right document, your attention may be interrupted – and when that happens throughout the day Happens several times, so it wastes a lot of time.”
In fact, a comprehensive multinational survey conducted by Zivver found that a whopping 98% of employees want to focus on independence. To reduce the number of interruptions experienced by employees, cyber-security consultant and chartered security professional James Bore recommends streamlining your technology.
“Think carefully about the tools you use, not just the tools to deposit them,” says Bohr. “Having one email and one instant messaging platform makes perfect sense, whether you’re working from home or in the office – but it doesn’t make sense to have five separate communication platforms. Whatever you use, it’s clear, Keep efficient and limited, instead of expanding and developing it.”
pressure to answer
In the era of instant gratification, we all expect a quick response to our messages. Studies have shown that the most likely reply time to an email is only two minutes, while half of respondents will respond within an hour – and with instant communication tools, the pressure to respond quickly can be even greater.
“One of the joys of email is that I can send a message, and you can reply when you like,” says Bor. “But when you are looking at platforms that are more real-time, there is an impulse to respond immediately. It’s like someone is following you and patting your shoulder every five minutes.”
Salamanca adds: “We do our best work when there are the least amount of distractions. When your attention is interrupted, the quality of the work you are doing is greatly reduced and in turn you can make more mistakes.”
The answer is to either consolidate all your communications into one outlet — preferably an asynchronous one, such as email — or turn off notifications altogether when you need to focus.
“Not letting yourself get distracted and upset by new assignments or emails means your mind stays focused on the task at hand, and you’re less likely to make mistakes — such as sending an email to the wrong person because you were about them. thinking,” says systems strategist Elle Baldry. , so you can work on one thing at a time instead of 30 – you’ll be happier and more productive. ,
Ironically, worrying about safety protocols in itself can be distracting enough to cause mistakes—especially in workplaces where multiple devices mean multiple processes to remember.
“It’s one of those annoying balances in security, because we want people to be aware of the consequences of these things — but you can overdo it,” Bor says. “If you tell people that even the smallest mistake will have dire consequences, they give up trying to control it and neglect safety, because they’ve been taught that whatever they do Well, bad things will happen. So too much emphasis on negative messaging has consequences.”
To combat the fear factor, employers should ensure they are protecting their systems from human error, using a secure communication platform such as Ziver, and supporting employees in its use – especially if they make mistakes (and 62% of surveyed employees admit to making recent email errors).
“It’s important to give employees the confidence to work on the systems they’ve got on hand, and to say they need help, or have slipped in some way, without any major consequences,” says Baldry. ,” says Baldry. “You want to make sure they know you’ve got their back by providing you with a piece of software that’s going to make life easier for them and remove human error wherever possible. You can’t get it 100% – but there are steps you can take to make the situation better.”
Mistakes are often due to human error being overloaded and having tight deadlines, which means people don’t have time to give their jobs and security protocols the level of attention they deserve.
“The more tasks you have, the faster you want to complete them,” says Bor. “Safety goes out the window in favor of knowing that once the task is done, you can move on.”
Says Baldry: “If I’m running around and on the go, my autofill kicks in and people turn to me. It’s also easy to attach the wrong document or copy it into an email to the wrong person because you’re typing the first three letters of their name, your software is automatically picking someone from your address book, and you don’t have time. Check it out.”
If employees are complaining that they don’t have time to focus on safety, it could be a sign that they are overworked.
“Ask yourself why employees are making these mistakes,” Baldry says. “Is it because of fear: ‘If I don’t get this out, I’ll be in trouble,’ and running through things? If so, you need a multidimensional attack, sort out your technique, Yes – but start with the users.”
Unintended sharing of sensitive data accounts for about 74% of all data leaks (Excel file) – and if this sounds familiar, using secure outbound communication tools that your employees can rely on should be a priority.
“If you’re sending a payroll spreadsheet, and it’s three o’clock on a Thursday, it’s easy to accidentally type ‘All Employees’ instead of ‘All Finances’ in the recipient line,” says Bor. “It’s not the fault of the people involved, as their job is to send information – if someone can accidentally send sensitive documents to the wrong person or to people outside the company, you need to look at your controls around email.”
Communication tools that are not fit for purpose can also force employees to use unapproved third-party sites that work better, which can be another cause of unintended data leaks.
“If you’re using a productivity tool that doesn’t conform to the GDPR and the Data Protection Act, you’re using it illegally and not covered at all,” Baldry says. “So if someone complained, you’d be guilty.”
Bor says: “For example, forcing people to use unapproved transfer sites to send large documents because your email doesn’t serve them is a huge security risk. But using tools like Zivver, which Preventing such data leaks – properly deployed and managed by a security team – will make a huge difference.”
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