Bored and distracted employees are biggest potential security risk, poll reveals

Employees who become distracted at work are more likely to be the cause of human error and a potential security risk, according to a poll conducted by Centrify – an interesting result in the light of the recent Newcastle City Council data breach.

While more than a third (35%) of survey respondents cite distraction and boredom as the main cause of human error, other causes include heavy workloads (19%), excessive policies and compliance regulations (5%), social media (5%) and password sharing (4%). Poor management is also highlighted by 11% of security professionals, while 8% believe human error is caused by not recognising data security responsibilities at work.

According to the survey, which examines how human error might lead to data security risks, over half (57%) believe organisations will eventually trust technology enough to replace employees as a way of avoiding human error in the workplace.

Despite the potential risks of human error at work, however, nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents feel that it is the responsibility of the employee, rather than technology, to ensure that their organisation avoids a potential data breach.

“It’s interesting that the majority of security professionals we surveyed are confident that organisations will trust technology enough to replace people so that fewer mistakes are made at work, yet on the other hand firmly put the responsibility for data security in the hands of employees rather than technology,” commented Andy Heather, VP and Managing Director, Centrify EMEA.

“It seems that we as employees are both responsible and responsible – so responsible for making mistakes and responsible for avoiding a potential data breach. It shows just how aware we need to be at work about what we do and how we behave when it comes to our work practices in general and our security practices in particular.”

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