Kaspersky Lab has found that most companies assign their own Tech Support Department to train company employees in matters of IT security, rather than hiring outside IT consultants or security professionals.
Effective IT security training for employees is a key component of any strategy to combat cyber threats - according to the Global Corporate IT Security Risks 2013 survey, four out of five of the most common internal security incidents recorded in the past 12 months were directly linked to staff actions:
- 32% of respondents reported accidental leakages of confidential data
- 30% of respondents reported employees losing corporate mobile devices with critical data stored on them
- 19% of companies encountered intentional staff-facilitated data leakages
- 18% of companies had dealt with incidents when confidential data got into the wrong hands due to the improper use of mobile devices (via a mobile email client, text messages, etc.)
Research repeatedly shows that unintentional staff errors are behind a significant proportion of critical data leaks and IT security incidents. The key to addressing this challenge lies in ensuring that end users are adequately informed of IT security risks - and how best to avoid them.
While this clearly illustrates the importance of employee education in IT security, the question remains: who exactly should provide that training?
As B2B International's experts determined, most companies believe that an organisation's in-house IT Department should train company employees in IT security matters -- even though staff education is not one of the key functions of an IT Department.
This additional workload affects performance: respondents noted that IT Departments have other important tasks and typically do not have time to educate their co-workers. Obviously, this can have a negative impact on the quality of training. A better outcome can be delivered by commissioning a third-party IT consultant with the requisite training expertise. However, only 12% of respondents reported having done so.
The HR Department is involved in employee training at 8% of the companies that took part in the survey. A similar number of companies delegate this matter to an Employee Training and Development Department. Roughly 3% of respondents reported that they commission an outside corporate training provider.
In general, the importance of employee education in IT security is acknowledged by the overwhelming majority of companies - only 4% of survey respondents stated that their companies do not train their staff in IT security at all. However, the quality of corporate education is open to question; after all, employee awareness about cyber threats has a direct impact on the extent to which a company's IT security policies are followed and, as a result, on the overall degree to which a company is protected against cyber threats.
Kaspersky Lab's flagship corporate solution, Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business - in addition to providing reliable protection against malicious programs, network attacks, targeted attacks, spam, and phishing - also includes a number of functions facilitating the effective management of a corporation's IT infrastructure.
Another technology offered in Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business that works to prevent incidents stemming from employee errors: Dynamic Whitelisting. This technology prevents malware from launching. Whitelisting solutions are based on the program's own database of trusted applications, and permit the operating system to launch only those programs included in the Whitelist database. This makes it extremely difficult to launch a successful attack against a company even with highly complex malicious programs that might not yet even be known to antivirus solutions.
B2B International's study has shown that Whitelisting solutions are among the measures most frequently taken by companies to protect their IT infrastructures: nearly 45% of respondents noted that their organisations use these solutions. This represents a significant change from last year, when Whitelisting solutions were rarely used, if at all.