YOU! And your employees. Like it or not, human beings are our own worst enemies online, inviting hackers, viruses, data breaches, data loss, etc., through the seemingly innocent actions taken every day online. In most cases, this is done without malicious intent – but if you as a manager or owner aren’t monitoring what websites your employees are visiting, what files they’re sending and receiving, and even what they’re posting in company e-mail, you could be opening yourself up to a world of hurt.

That’s because employees’ actions can subject the company they work for to monetary loss, civil lawsuits, data theft and even criminal charges if they involve disclosure of confidential company information, transmission of pornography or exposure to malicious code. If you’re in a regulated industry like healthcare, you can’t even send the name of a patient in unencrypted email to anyone!

One thing you can (and should) do is implement a tool to document and monitor which websites employees are visiting. Almost everyone will throw a firewall into this category of tools, but not most of the time. And certainly not those firewalls that you can buy off the shelf at Walmart or BestBuy. Typically these types of tools are a subscription service, with the most effective being those that are professionally configured and managed. The one we love the most is OpenDNS Umbrella (well, it used to be OpenDNS…Cisco bought them out recently, but the product stays the same.) It doesn’t require any hardware to be installed and can cover employees no matter where they work from. Regardless of the tool used, it’s up to you to set the rules, write it into an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), TRAIN employees on what is and isn’t acceptable and then get them to sign the AUP.

When government officials come knock on our businesses’ front doors, there not coming for the employee…they’ll be holding us business owners and executive management responsible for what goes on within our business networks! Make sure you cover your behind on this topic!