Imbalance between Work and Personal Life is a Cybersecurity IssueJames J. Porter
The boundaries between the personal and the worker are blurring more and more. People often spend more time in the office than at home. At the same time, about a quarter of employees work remotely. We believe that in the modern world the perfect balance between life and work is generally unattainable.
Due to the growth in digital data, there is no longer a clear separation of which tasks to perform at work and which at home. In both personal and professional life, we rely heavily on social networks, email, digital documents, and shared folders. As our recent study showed, chaos reigns in the management of corporate records and credentials.
Death Balance Between Work and Personal Life
Working from nine to five is not so bad. Nevertheless, this approach is already outdated. Now it is welcome to linger a bit - for the sake of important meetings, meeting tight deadlines, and even corporate parties. Millions of people recycle to cope with their tasks.
Adapting to modern conditions, employees often mix work and personal life: they solve household issues at the workplace and vice versa - they finish work from home. Many even have a removable set of clothes in the office. What is worse digital data? Access to the right information both from home and from work makes life easier.
There is a big problem with this desire for convenience: careless handling of corporate data. Employees who store them on personal devices are not always able to ensure the security of this information unless they use VPN Chrome browser extensions. Easy access to data puts them at an unnecessary risk. For a company, this can have serious consequences.
Companies must manage data
While employees are struggling with personal and corporate information, companies are racking their brains in questions like protecting growing volumes of data. As our study showed, 80% of employees do not even consider that restricting access to work letters, files and documents is their direct responsibility.
Personal and payment data, authorization codes - these are just a couple of examples of confidential information necessary for the effective work of the company. Staff do not always safely store this information. Just 56% of employees regularly delete obsolete letters, and only 34% get rid of old files on hard drives.
Digital mess becomes an even more serious problem when information is stored in the cloud or public folders, where it is more difficult to control. We add here the constant growth of data volumes, and now - managing corporate information is becoming extremely difficult. But it still needs to be protected from prying eyes! For example, if an employee can accidentally stumble upon information about the salary of colleagues, a hacker can also find it.
To ensure secure data management, it is necessary to involve employees themselves in solving information security issues. Only then can a new corporate culture be formed in which each participant will be responsible for data protection and help colleagues do the same. Therefore, it is extremely important to train personnel in the basics of cybersecurity, communicating to people the significance of the problem and their role in solving it. As a result, employees will learn to manage information more efficiently - both corporate and personal.
How to relieve pressure?
It seems to us that the solution to the problem should not consist in reducing digital clutter per se. The catch is rather in insufficient personal responsibility and inability of people to choose and use different types of environments for different purposes.
We are all different. For example, older people are less willing to share their passwords than youth — especially those who are too young to be responsible for their actions. It’s more convenient for some employees to work in an organized space, while others do more in the middle of a pile of papers or files (and this is not a mess, but just a different working environment).
You should not give up all efforts to install corporate applications on personal devices (which is difficult, and in some countries it is completely impossible) or attempts to change people's habits with the help of intimidation. You need to create different environments with a different balance of security and convenience for different processes. It’s even more important to explain to people the difference between the environments in which they communicate with other employees and the environments where it is possible to collaborate with third parties, whether they are contractors or personal acquaintances.
Everyone can clean up their home. However, a common “home” - an office workstation or a cloud solution - should be convenient and safe for everyone. Here you can not do without the universally accepted rules and understanding. And, of course, someone must control how these rules are implemented so that the habits of employees do not harm the business and do not infringe on the interests of colleagues.