With malware, phishing and other digital nastiness lurking around every corner of the internet one often forgets about the dangers that lurk within the castle walls.

We’re of course talking about human error and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) concept.

Back in the old days, companies would often give employees a company phone, tablet or notebook. These days the trend of BYOD means employees bring these gadgets to work themselves.

“While the concept of BYOD has presented many opportunities to companies and no doubt adds a positive element to the overall productivity of a growing digital business, it has also brought some serious risk – linked to human error – that can be very costly,” says general manager of Kaspersky in Africa, Riaan Badenhorst.

Data from Kaspersky’s global research arm found that 60 percent of employees have confidential data on their device. Furthermore, Kaspersky says that 35 percent of businesses surveyed had experienced an incident linked to BYOD.

“Considering these statistics, if a business is serious about its BYOD strategy, it must be so with cybersecurity awareness and training in mind, especially knowing that 52% of businesses regard employees as the biggest threat to corporate cyber security. Such awareness however extends beyond the basic training structures that most organisations have become accustomed to,” Badenhorst continues.

The GM’s advice is that businesses should build a “Human Firewall” of sorts.

This is done through training and security awareness that goes beyond the basics. This means training staff to be able to check that a website is legit and respond to requests to update software with caution.

“While cyber security policies remain critically important, dedicated training of this nature is not about lecturing staff on cybersecurity obligations and policy rules. Rather, it is about making effective learning open to businesses of any size, ensuring a company can balance security competence levels throughout a business for different groups of employees,” Badenhorst concluded.

[Image – CC BY SA 2.0 Christoph Scholz]