- Employers should balance the need to eliminate insider data threats with protecting employees' privacy, according to an online survey shared with HR Dive. The research, from Forrester Analytics Global Business Technographics Workforce Benchmark, included 7,388 respondents from eight countries.
- The survey showed that in 2015, insiders caused 26% of the data breaches in the respondents' organizations, a statistic that rose to 48% in 2019, according to previous surveys from the organization. Insider threat protection programs "must account for the growing protections for employee privacy."
- Forrester said that employers can have a successful insider threat program by openly communicating the program and IT rules with employees, clearly defining the program's objectives, letting employees know their part in security and avoiding the prioritization of security over productivity.
As the Forrester report noted, treating workers like criminals behind inside threats and over-monitoring their personal activities could undo any strategies for engaging them. In a June HR Metrics & Analytics Summit study, 80% of employers said they use employee records and data to measure a range of worker activity, from retention and turnover to recruitment and engagement. However, the study also found that this use of data raises ethical concerns, because while employees accept being monitored for work-related activities, 72% of employees surveyed reject being monitored for their use of social media, personal interaction with others and moving around the workplace.
The ethical challenges involving data breaches and protecting employees' rights may call for HR leaders' involvement, but according to a GetApp survey released in November, most HR professionals aren't serious enough about data security. In fact, the survey results showed that 41% of employers don't train all their HR staff in protecting workers' data, and only 19% regularly revise their policy quarterly. Also, a third of respondents said they're operating without a policy to protect employees' data, and of those with a written policy, 44% said their greatest challenge is getting workers to comply with it.