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The Most Common Employee Errors

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The most common employee errors in the workspace that lead to security breaches

Employee might fall in a phishing scamAn employee will receive an email from fraudulent sources or from an individual hacker that tries to lure them to download malicious files or click on a link to an exploit-laden site. For example, the hacker can make phishing pages like Facebook, Gmail or some bank account login pages .were user can enter his login info and those pages will stay in web hosts and run some backend scripts which send user login information to the hacker.Recent cause:According to the 2016 Verizon Data Breach Investigations, 30% of these messages were opened and 13% of employees went on to open a malicious attachment or link.(Brown, 2016) Why stolen laptops still cause data breachesLosing any electrical devices or theft is the most likely breach method. i.e.., losing USB, Hard drives, laptop etc. This includes the service data compromising or erasing sensitive data. (Jonathan, 2016)

Privilege abuse:Privileged account abuse tops the list of the most dangerous threat patterns. It is relatively easy for insiders to steal sensitive data, but it can take organizations months or even years to detect and investigate such incidents. Most common scenarios Whether the threat actor is a disgruntled ex-employee or a staffer looking for financial gain, privilege abuse that leads to security breaches tends to conform to just a few patterns. By analyzing security incidents that made headlines over the past few years, we identified the four most common scenarios of how insiders can actually gain access to sensitive data:

  1. Privilege escalation — An insider deliberately raises his or her level of access to get more access rights.
  2. Unauthorized access — An insider gains access to another user’s account, either by stealing it or by mistake.
  3. Privilege abuse — An insider uses legitimate access to systems and data to perform malicious activities.
  4. Human mistake — An insider unintentionally or deliberately uses access rights that were granted by mistake or out of negligence.(Jeff, 2017)Security mistake:There has been an explosion of new healthcare, financial and government applications over the past few years resulting in more and more cryptography being added to backend applications. In more cases than not, this crypto code is implemented incorrectly

Mistake #1: Assuming your developers are security experts:Unfortunately, when it comes to implementing encryption correctly—you don’t get a second chance. While a typical developer mistake might cause an error on a web page, a mistake in your data security pipeline can leave all of your sensitive data at risk. Worst of all, you won’t find out about the mistake for months or even years until your organization gets hacked. And by then, it’s too late.

Mistake #2: Relying on cloud providers to secure your dataThe physical infrastructure powering most cloud providers is secure and some even offer encryption options. However, they always recommend that developers encrypt their sensitive data before storing it in the cloud. Amazon Web Services (AWS) stress that data encryption is the customer’s responsibility, not theirs. (Yaron)Passwords:Cybercriminals find the path of least resistance to their target and today that path leads straight from users with self-managed ‘simple factor’ passwords. Since most recent breaches leveraged privileged credentials to gain access to the organization, securing privileged access in today’s hybrid enterprise is mandatory in achieving a mature risk posture. Passwords alone are not enough.

While most privilege solutions traditionally vaulted the credentials for shared accounts on-premises, password vaults alone do not provide the level of privileged access security required to stop the breach. Organization’s need is a truly integrated solution that combines password vaulting with brokering of identities, MFA enforcement and just-enough and just-in-time privilege, that secures remote access and monitors all privileged sessions.”(, 2017)Improper disposal of informationData breaches arising from theft, loss, unauthorized access/disclosure, improper disclosure, or hacking incidents involving personal health information continue to increase every year.

As of September 2013, reported breaches affecting individuals reached close to 27 million since 2009, when compilation of records on breaches began. These breaches, which involved 674 covered entities and 153 business associates, involved computer systems and networks, desktop computers, laptops, paper, e-mail, electronic health records, and removable/portable devices (CDs, USBs, x-ray films, backup tapes, etc.). Even with the increased use of health information technology by health institutions and allied businesses, theft and loss (not hacking) constitute the major types of data breaches encountered.(Wikina,2014)

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The Most Common Employee Errors. (2019, February 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 24, 2022, from
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