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Employees know they're a threat to business security

Both companies and employees are aware of the damage cyber-attacks can make, and know that employees are the weakest link in a company's security chain.

Those are the results of two separate studies conducted by security firm WinMagic (opens in new tab). During the Cloud Security Expo, it released the studies in which it asked 250 IT managers and 1,000 employees about the importance of IT security in the workplace.

The data shows that businesses have taken actions to protect themselves following high-profile data breaches, such as the one which happened to TalkTalk.

Almost a third of employees (31 per cent) consider themselves to be the biggest threat to security, followed by hackers (30 per cent). On the other hand, IT managers are still giving more credit to hackers (37 per cent), and only then employees (24 per cent). IT managers also find the lack of rigid security policies (24 per cent) important to data safety.

They are also mostly concerned about the safety of data employees store on premises and in the cloud.

The report says 25 per cent of employees are storing data in the cloud, and 15 are using personal hardware. Almost two thirds (63 per cent) of IT managers are concerned about storing company data on the cloud, while portable storage devices continue to be the number one choice for company data, in 20 per cent of cases.

“There is a clear disconnect between employees, who feel that they must share responsibility for security, and those currently seen as ‘in charge’ of this area,” said Darin Welfare, vice president and general manager for EMEA at WinMagic. “As employees bear witness to ever more high-profile contemporary data breaches, they are increasingly aware of their responsibility to share in data security. Businesses and IT managers who recognise and respond to this heightened level of awareness are going to ultimately see more success in implementing policies and systems to best effect.”

Photo credit: jijomathaidesigners / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.