Employee working on laptop with security icon on virtual screen showing security controls

4 Ways To Introduce Robust Security Controls — Without Overburdening Employees

Digital security is a team sport that requires everyone to work toward the same goal. But when leaders implement technologies to protect company data, employees often grow frustrated with solutions that seem irrelevant to day-to-day work. As a result, team members circumvent rules, exposing the company to security vulnerabilities.

This organizational disconnect runs deep — 90% of executives believe their company pays attention to employees’ needs when introducing new technology, but only 53% of associates agree.

It’s critical to incorporate system redundancies into your security design to protect critical data. By duplicating and clustering data, redundancies protect critical software assets from loss and corruption. But multiple internal measures like corporate device policies and multi-factor authentication logins can easily complicate employees’ workflows — causing them to look for loopholes and bypass security measures.

Through robust communication and targeted employee education, leaders can achieve a balance between introducing new security technologies and ensuring employees understand the need for them in the first place.

Here are four tips to help you bridge the technology gap between your organization’s security priorities and your employees’ preferred workflows:

1. Customize security controls to align with your internal policies

Too often, organizations adopt technologies without tailoring them to company needs, creating a host of island solutions that fail to translate across teams. Vendor marketing programs, industry projections, and last-minute fixes may also fail to account for your business’ unique long-term needs.

To avoid misalignment, make sure that your solutions solve specific problems within your organization. Is the solution necessary to achieve compliance with policies and government regulations? Does it translate effectively across various departments in the organization? Answering these and other questions ensures that everyone understands the purpose of security technologies.

It’s also important to use a consistent security model. To start this process, identify the policies and controls you need to support your security requirements. This ensures the IT team has guidance in implementing security solutions and organizational policies drive the configuration of the systems — not the other way around. These processes streamline the data-handling pipeline across the board, leaving less room for disparate datasets and disgruntled employees.

2. Consider impact on the end-user

Employee frustration frequently stems from feeling excluded from the decision-making process for new technologies. Internal security controls can seem like unnecessary steps to employees who either lack appropriate training or believe they won’t reap any value from those solutions.

Gauge how employees prefer to engage with workplace technologies and  gain a clearer understanding of how they use technology in their jobs. Then, take the time to educate employees on the daily benefits that security solutions provide and incorporate these considerations into the security solution.

For example, you may need to educate employees on the importance of corporate device policies. While these policies protect your organization from security vulnerabilities, corporate devices might feel like an additional burden to employees. Emphasize that this approach not only protects the organization and its customers, but also helps employees avoid losing work to data losses or hacks.

3. Create a committee to implement consistent security protocols

When executives encounter technical issues and inefficiencies, they can instruct the IT department to find a solution and allocate budget for it. But when employees encounter technical roadblocks, they don’t have the same power to enact change and are often left to figure out workarounds on their own. To address this disconnect, you need to establish effective communication channels between key groups within your organization.

Form a council consisting of your IT team, legal compliance team, executives, and employees to loop end-users in on your organization’s plan to address emerging threats. When employees are included in decisions, they are more likely to adapt to security protocols without being frustrated by them.

In fact, a large segment of the workforce feels motivated by technology due to the promise of better efficiency and teamwork. From picking devices to choosing mobile applications, employees are always on the lookout for ways to improve productivity. Focus groups, feedback forms, and surveys provide additional opportunities to enable people-first decision-making.

4. Provide frequent training opportunities

As tech evolves, so does the need for employees to cultivate a learning mindset. And employees agree. Adopting new technologies boosts job performance, which helps them advance their careers.

While employees report that they are willing to spend two days a month on technology training, many companies don’t offer educational support. As leaders, there’s a clear opportunity to provide more technical training — but you have to do it strategically.

Employees rarely retain information from cybersecurity training sessions that only happen once a year. Instead, consider bi-weekly, bite-sized trainings focused on recent issues that employees have faced. This type of security programming ensures that training is continuous and remains top of mind for employees.

Bridge the disconnect through open communication

Technology implementations present unwanted disruptions if they’re not managed properly. When employees aren’t empowered to see the big picture, performance and productivity take a hit. Likewise, if your workforce doesn’t embrace security controls, your entire IT infrastructure will suffer.

Through robust communication and targeted employee education, leaders can achieve a balance between introducing new #security technologies and ensuring employees understand the need for them in the first place. #respectdataClick to Tweet

Take advantage of your team’s curiosity about new technologies by engaging employees at every step of the process. By making end-users part of the solution, you can enforce more robust system redundancies to protect internal data and solve critical security vulnerabilities.

 

Director of Innovation at Core BTS