simply opening a malicious email attachment or accidently tossing
a sensitive document into an unsecured recycling bin. It happens
more often than you may think: a third of data breaches in Canada
in 2017 involved negligent employees and cost businesses $241
per capita in damages, according to the Ponemon Institute.
Whether or not your employees work during vacation, it’s likely
they stay connected to your company in some way, perhaps by
simply using the phone on which they have access to work emails
(after all, two-thirds of Canadians say their mobile phone is their
number one travel accessory). Considering that employees are less
likely to be diligent with data security when they’re off the clock,
it’s critical for HR professionals to prioritize information security
training for travelling employees.
To help keep your employees and company secure, con-sider
adding a component to your employee training that covers
information security while on vacation and addresses these five
common risk areas:
1. PUBLIC WI-FI
Any time your employee connects to public Wi-Fi while on vaca-tion,
they run the risk of exposing their – or your company’s
– device to a hacker tapping into the open network. The big-gest
concern for HR professionals is that most employees don’t
understand the risks of connecting to open networks. More than
half (53 per cent) of Canadians don’t know how to identify an
unsecured Wi-Fi connection, and at least 88 per cent have poten-tially
put themselves at risk by logging into sensitive sites on open
networks, according to a 2017 risk report by Norton.
HR teams can play an important role in equipping employees
with the knowledge to reduce the risk of a data breach occur-ring
over a public Wi-Fi network. If your company has a Virtual
Private Network (VPN), regularly remind employees to use the
VPN to stay secure when surfing the web, even when they’re away.
If your company doesn’t have a VPN, encourage your employees
to do data security preparations such as completing all banking or
important work correspondence at home or the office where the
networks are secure before departing on their vacation.
2. PAPER DOCUMENTS
While more and more companies are striving to have “paperless”
offices, there’s no denying that paper is still widely used by employ-ees.
Shred-it’s 2017 Security Tracker survey found that over half
(58 per cent) of Canadian C-suites expect the volume of paper
used in their organization to increase or stay the same over the
next five years. All kinds of printed documents – presentation
decks, business plans, client strategy documents – could compro-mise
your company if they fall into the wrong hands.
Your HR team should help employees recognize the risks of
carrying around sensitive documents and discourage employees
from taking documents outside the office, especially on vacation.
THE BIGGEST CONCERN
FOR HR PROFESSIONALS
IS THAT MOST EMPLOYEES
DON’T UNDERSTAND THE
RISKS OF CONNECTING
TO OPEN NETWORKS.
grinvalds / 123RF Stock Photo
24 ❚ MAY 2018 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL