Inept staff biggest threat to data security, say one in five Irish companies

StaffAccording to the ICS National Data Protection Survey, one in five Irish companies believe inept staff to be the biggest issue they face in keeping sensitive data secure.

Here are just some of the most recent data breaches Irish companies have experienced, and guess what? They all involve staff who made mistakes, errors and boo-boos in dealing with sensitive information.


Irish Water

Just last year, Irish Water was under the spotlight when a number of individuals’ bank details were sent to the wrong people. Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said the data breach was “absolutely unacceptable and shouldn’t have happened.”

A month prior to this, Irish Water had to apologise after more than 6,300 customers were sent letters relating to other individuals.


Joan Burton’s government department

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has revealed there were 24 data breaches in her department over the last year. The Tánaiste said the majority of confirmed breaches are “due to genuine error”, such as inadvertently addressing communications to the wrong person.


Dublin College for Advanced Studies

Last month, photocopies of sensitive information belonging to students were left “inadvertently” in a skip bag outside a Dublin college in the course of a clear-out.


New Beginning

A lobby group for distressed mortgage holders, New Beginning, accidentally sent details of more than 1,500 customers to an investment firm, with co-founder Ross Maguire describing it as a “mistake”.


Negligent employees

With negligent employees a major problem for firms throughout Ireland, information security staff awareness training can be an effective method to reduce your organisation’s exposure to security threats.

Set out to meet the requirements of ISO 27001 – the international standard for an information security management system (ISMS) – the Information Security & ISO27001 Staff Awareness E-Learning Course uses a non-technical approach to help all of your employees learn about effective cyber security measures. With basic yet fundamental training on information security and ISO 27001, your organisation’s liability to security failures can be significantly reduced.

Here are some aspects of what the 40 minute course covers:

  • What is information security and what does it have to do with you?
  • Where does your organisation fit in?
  • Could this happen to you? (Scenarios and follow-up questions)
  • Information security at home
  • Information security at work
  • Potential weaknesses: passwords, phishing, Web 2.0, USB sticks, sat nav, secure perimeters, tailgating, clear desk and screen
  • Information classification
  • Intellectual property
  • Security incidents
  • Business continuity
  • More >>

Reduce your cyber risk exposure and comply with the requirements of ISO 27001 with Information Security & ISO27001 Staff Awareness E-Learning.


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