Human Error, The Real Cause Behind Accidental Data Loss

821 Words Apr 25th, 2016 4 Pages
Is “Human Error” the Real Cause Behind Accidental Data Loss?
Accidental release of confidential data has been running rampant. Healthcare employees have accidentally sent patients’ records to wrong email addresses due to typing errors. The University of Greenwich and Hellgate High School have accidentally publicly released hundreds of students’ personal protected information instead of the intended meetings’ notes. US and UK government laptops and USB sticks containing unencrypted personal protected information have been accidentally lost. All of these cases attribute the cause of the data loss to “human error”. Are humans solely responsible for accidental data loss or do processes and technology play equal roles?

Awareness

People are responsible for their own actions. They can only act on what they are aware of. Issuing and signing Non-Disclosure Agreements and holding a lone on-boarding data security training session does not provide adequate employee awareness. The newest generation of employees has been surrounded with information sharing and openness as a way of life and work. It is greatly counterintuitive for them to lock away data from their coworkers, especially after they have all signed the same NDA. They might not be aware of who needs what data access to perform their work duties, (which should be set at the minimal access required, even for top management), or what privacy regulations apply at which level of operations, (which include USB drives and BYOD). It…
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