Study Shows the Biggest Cybersecurity Risk is Employee Negligence

Learn how employee negligence is the biggest cybersecurity risk to your company.

Learn how employee negligence is the biggest cybersecurity risk to your company.

While many companies believe that hackers are their biggest cybersecurity risk, a new study shows that they should be more concerned with employee negligence. In the study from Shred-it, almost half of business leaders claimed that human error was the cause of a data breach at their organization. Continue reading to learn more about employee negligence and what companies can do to save their company from a major data breach.

Paper Documents

While cybersecurity threats mainly occur online, paper documents can be the cause of significant data breaches. For example, if an employee is not careful when storing sensitive documents or throws paper with sensitive information in the trash without shredding it first, the data can easily get into the wrong hands. In the study, 65 percent of employees admitted to taking handwritten notes at work, and 39 percent claimed they left these notes on their desks, out in the open. Anyone who has access to their desk can easily steal sensitive company information.

Remote Work

As you may have guessed, personal devices play a major rule in data breaches for many organizations. Remote work is becoming the norm for many jobs, as employees have the option to work from home a few days a week or even full-time. Unfortunately, security practices haven’t caught up, and organizations face cybersecurity risks from employees accessing company information from their personal laptops or phones. By creating weak passwords or using shared public Wi-Fi, remote employee negligence is the cause of many data breaches for various businesses. Remote workers should use a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, to protect their data and privacy.

What Companies Can Do To Stop Data Breaches

Business leaders need to be proactive about employee negligence, as one data breach can quickly bring down even the most successful organizations. First, update policies that employees must follow, including proper storage/disposal of paper documents and rules for remote workers to keep sensitive information secure. Your employees may not even be aware that they are creating cybersecurity risks, so consistent training is crucial. Take the time to teach employees about the many dangers of data breaches and the best practices to keep their devices secure. One study found that businesses experienced a total of 3,269 negligent employee incidents in just one year, with an average cost of $8.76 million. To ensure this does not happen to your company, be proactive and provide employee training on the latest security practices.


At Critical Systems, the people come first, from our employees to our customers. We strive to attract and develop the best talent in the business. Our goal is to deliver innovative solutions for the purpose of making every building secure, efficient, and effectively managed.

Serving the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, and Baltimore regions, Schneider Electric Buildings Critical Systems provides innovative solutions for your commercial building or facility. Visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+ today! If you’re looking for more information or interested in working with us on your next project, please contact us!

This entry was posted on Monday, September 10th, 2018 at 11:17 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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