Are Your Employees Your Worst Enemies?

by billmason on July 3, 2010

Are Your Employees Your Worst Enemies?

You rely on your employees and want to believe they see the same thing for the future success of your business as you do, right?  And odds are, if you were asked to name the weakest link, you might find yourself struggling with choosing someone; not because there are many too choose from, but because there aren’t any at all.  You’ve worked hard to build a strong foundation, you’ve attracted the best and brightest employees and you reward their efforts with generous vacation days, bonuses and other perks.  This is all in an effort to keep your employees loyal and focused.  But what if they are your worst enemy?  They may not even be aware of it, says A. Harrison Barnes, founder of

So then how can it be?  “You might be surprised”, says the founder.  “If your networks are left vulnerable, a quick trip to a non-work related website can bring in an enemy far worse than your competitor”.   Symantec, one of the country’s leading computer security companies, says computer and network viruses increased by 71% between 2008 and 2009.  Even as more aggressive measures are being taken to eradicate these virus definitions, it appears the good guys are losing ground.

This, as every business owner knows – whether it’s a small business owner in Memphis, Tennessee or a conglomerate in New York City – can result in long term and significant problems.  Whether it’s an opening a hacker finds when an employee is updating his Facebook page and inadvertently opens an attachment or any method used to access your company’s financial information, there always is a risk associated with your online networks, says A. Harrison Barnes.  Once access is made, companies can lose all control they have over their online existences.  Even something as simple as a potential employee downloading the job description you have available on your website can lead to a bot then gaining access to the job applicant’s computer.

What is the answer?  Simply stated, Symantec says it’s all about knowledge.  You work to keep your networks patched, but what are you doing for your web browser?  How do you know there’s not a hidden vulnerability?  These are tough questions for those who have no idea what a “bot ” actually is, but it’s also what an IT specialist thrives on.  Creating IT jobs might be your best bet.  The alternative is worse, after all.  Protecting your business and your clients is priority one and if that means brining on board one more employee, it could be the biggest and best investment you will ever make as a business owner.  Another tip both Symantec and Barnes offers is to minimize your risks.  Enforce your company policies regarding access to the internet.  No one wants to ban the internet, and in fact, your company likely relies on the internet, but a definitive line drawn might serve to protect your interests.

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