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Workers often unclear on the sensitive nature of business data

(Image credit: Image Credit: Wk1003mike / Shutterstock)

Businesses are not doing enough to instil the importance of proper data handling into employees, a new report from KnowBe4 suggests.

The cybersecurity firm polled 408,929 workers worldwide and found that roughly a quarter (24 percent) are unsure whether the data they work with is classified or not.

The construction, education, transport, and retail sectors are most at risk, with more than a third (35 percent) of employees unsure about the status of the data they use. The banking sector is on the other end of the spectrum.

According to Kai Roer, Research Director at KnowBe4, management is doing a poor job of delivering the necessary training.

“Managers have a responsibility to train their staff to treat the information they are working with in a good way. That as many as a quarter of employees are unsure about this indicates a considerable failing in many companies,” he said. 

Employees that don’t know for certain if they’re dealing with sensitive data are less likely to handle it with care. This could spell disaster for any company, as data leaks can lead to loss of business, reputational damage and fines.

“Cybercriminals are working constantly to develop more cunning methods of attack. In addition, things can happen within the company to change the situation, which employees must be made aware of,” Roer added.