Is your team suffering from security fatigue? Endless tech security requirements, warnings, and news stories can get overwhelming. At the same time, employees may struggle to remember passwords and keep up with other best practices.
As a result, workers get tired of dealing with security protocols and get complacent. Employees skip security steps, make passwords too easy, and otherwise take shortcuts that put your organization at risk.
How can you mitigate this fatigue, especially among remote workers who might take security less seriously? Here are some ideas to consider.
Identify Signs of Security Fatigue
Knowing what to look for can help you understand if security fatigue is affecting your company, especially remote workers. Signs to look for include frequent password resets, weak passwords, not making requested security changes promptly, and other risky behaviors.
When employees are remote, it can be hard to see these signs, so it’s important for the IT team to be diligent. This is where there’s a secondary risk of security fatigue — within your IT personnel. Make sure you and your team aren’t getting complacent as well.
Security fatigue can result in security breaches, millions of dollars in recovery efforts, and fines and penalties for failed compliance. It’s important to address the issue and keep both in-office and remote workers safe.
How many passwords is an employee responsible for today? How can you reduce it — preferably to one?
A password manager can allow employees to reduce the brainpower required to log in to company software, and it’s much easier to encourage employees to make one password strong than ten or more. You can even install authentication that uses biometric information rather than requiring a password at all.
Next, work on removing security updates from the hands of employees. Automate updates and install a remote patching solution so security updates are pushed to all employees’ computers, remote or otherwise.
Finally, make sure all employee computers have ad blockers and other security features installed so that employees are less likely to be confronted with popups and other potential attacks where they have to make a decision whether or not to click, call a fake 800 number, or otherwise compromise their data.
Proactive cybersecurity steps like comprehensive training, robust networks, and vulnerability management are the foundation of keeping your organization safe. By taking steps to limit employees’ security decisions, you can limit vulnerabilities and minimize the impact of security fatigue.
Drills help everyone know how to react if the situation really happens, and IT security drills can do the same. That makes them an important strategy for mitigating cyber threats and keeping cloud architecture secure. Drills can also help employees break out of their complacency and see the true impact of lax security.
The IT team can conduct phishing tests to see which employees don’t understand how to identify dangerous emails and need further training. You can also run incident response drills so your IT team knows what to do in case of a breach, data ransom request, or other cybersecurity events.
Drills can help bring employees face to face with the consequences of lax security practices and help emphasize the importance of required best practices. Also, if employees who fail drills are given additional training, they’ll eventually get the message and tighten up their security — if only to stop having to take training!
It’s easy for remote workers to feel disconnected from their teams and employers, which is why it’s important to keep communication consistent. Having the right collaboration tools can make all the difference in keeping remote workers engaged and more likely to follow security protocols.
Video calls can help team members meet face-to-face, reducing miscommunication and misunderstandings. It’s also important to have an easy way to collaborate on projects so everyone can stay on the same page and work moves forward efficiently. Of course, any technology you use should be easy to use and easy to keep secure.
With the right communication tools, your remote team members can collaborate effectively, stay connected with team members, and generally remember that they aren’t at home alone — they belong to a larger organization. This feeling of connection will encourage and remind them to implement the company’s security standards even though they work from home.
As remote work becomes more popular, the need for strong security practices becomes even more vital. By taking concrete steps to overcome security fatigue, you can create a company culture that prioritizes security without overwhelming employees in the process.
Automation, frequent drills, and communication are the pillars of a proactive approach to cybersecurity. When you take security decisions off employees’ plates and keep communication strong, employees will be more engaged with security protocols and more likely to follow through on best practices.
It’s not easy to keep a consistent vigilance, but your organization’s success and growth depend on it.