The rise of flexible workforces, particularly the era of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), provides cybercriminals unprecedented opportunities to breach systems, says Nicol Mullins, Principal Career Consultant at Guy Carpenter’s affiliate, Mercer.
Mr. Mullins, who works for Mercer South Africa, explains: Flexible workforces are not subject to the same security protocols as other employees, which means in some cases, those workers—and their technologies—can bypass firewalls, password protections, and other security measures. Simply opening up a nefarious email can provide hackers access to a company’s infrastructure.
In his article, “Addressing the Human Element in South Africa’s Cybercrime Epidemic,” Mr. Mullins says rampant cybercrime in one country could pose a threat to every economy, business, and person in the world.
According to the World Economic Forum’s 14th edition of The Global Risks Report, prepared by the World Economic Forum (WEF) with the support of Marsh & McLennan Companies, “massive data fraud and theft” was ranked the number four global risk by likelihood over a 10-year horizon, with “cyberattacks” at number five.
Many businesses have inadequate IT security policies in place, especially ones that account for human fallibility, and employees who view security measures as a barrier instead of an enabler for business. With employees at the heart of these vulnerabilities, HR professionals must play a greater role in combating cybercrimes.