Human Factors in Social CRM Security

Human Factors in Social CRM Security

By Barton Goldenberg

At least from a security perspective, the people in an organization are its weakest link.  Anyone, from customer service representatives in the contact center to sales executives equipped with laptops, can inadvertently—or intentionally—create a security breach.  And one aspect of human behavior is a given: with enough effort, it is easy to find someone who will believe nearly anything.  Hackers know this and have many creative ways to entice information from employees. Here is a discussion of Social CRM security – human risks.

Employees, often innocently, can open the door to attacks, by something as simple as passing an email along.  Malicious employees can also intentionally inflict damage to the network. This can involve anything from releasing a virus, stealing information, or poisoning data, to bypassing security controls to play games on the organization’s dime.  Statistics show that millions of dollars are lost each year because of employee security breaches.

Outside threats from human sources abound as well. The Internet provides hackers with potential access from anywhere in the world. Some are motivated by an intellectual challenge, while others are fueled by more treacherous motives, such as revenge or stealing for profit.  Regardless, no intrusion is innocent, and no intrusion is benign. Every organization must create comprehensive procedures to prevent such intrusions and train their staff in their use.

Another people issue involves the difficulty in attracting and keeping skilled employees.  Lack of skilled employees leads to other inside threats to an organization’s network, from things as simple as misconfiguration of servers and firewalls by installers to lack of knowledge or awareness among the system administrators themselves.  Educating employees about potential vulnerabilities is key, and this includes everyone involved with setting policy and making the system secure.

See my next post for a discussion of security risks from systems and software.

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The Definitive Guide to Social CRMBarton Goldenberg, is the founder and president of ISM Inc., customer-centric strategists/implementers serving best-in-class organizations globally. As a CRM leader for 30 years, he was among the first three inductees in the CRM Hall of Fame. Recognized as a leading “customer-focused” author, his latest book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM, is hailed as the roadmap for Social CRM success. Barton is a popular speaker on “maximizing customer relationships to gain market insights, customers and profits”. He is a long-term columnist for CRM Magazine and speaker for CRMevolution and frequently quoted in the media.