Technology users get tired and stressed out from the efforts of remembering multiple login credentials, PINs and ever-changing security protocols. The result? Making poor decisions that could result in an intrusion, exposure of sensitive data, loss of reputation or even huge financial losses. This is what security fatigue looks like, and if your employees are suffering from this very real issue, there are ways to combat it.
Security Fatigue. It’s a Real Thing.
Security fatigue is a trending decrease in cybersecurity vigilance and corresponding increase in risky behavior, experienced by users who are overwhelmed by the need to stay alert against threats to their data. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) found that a majority of the typical computer users they interviewed experienced security fatigue. Growing tired, millions of users developed symptoms of security fatigue; they start taking passwords lightly, compromising their security. This can mean bad things for your business security if it isn’t addressed.
How to Beat Security Fatigue
Passwords: Experts agree on a few simple rules to minimize the risk of hacks: use the longest possible passwords, combining letters, numbers and symbols, don’t spell, and never use the same password on different systems. To help employees take this seriously, implement a password keeper or employ the use of a password management device.
Automate your updates: Software and app updates are key to keeping your computer and devices protected against the latest malware and viruses. Constant notifications and reminders from the host of apps and software you have can cause cyber fatigue and avoidance. The best way to prevent this but also keep your devices protected is to set up an automatic update. Plus, you’ll also receive less notifications.
Virus Scans. They work: For the same reasons you need to update your software and apps, you’ll want to schedule automatic virus scans on your computer. You can set it up to scan every week or every month, meaning you won’t forget and you won’t have to try remember the last time you did one.
Old accounts: Close accounts you don’t use, such as email accounts from your teens or apps you’ve not touched for ages.
The NIST report made three key recommendations:
- Limit the number of security decisions users need to make;
- Make it simple for users to choose the right security action; and
- Design for consistent decision-making whenever possible.
Luckily, businesses can combat security fatigue just by taking a few steps to automate and organize the basic security tasks that employees use. The benefits of doing this far outweigh the one-off time-drain of putting these measures in place. It is far more exhausting dealing with fraud then it is to protect against it.
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