Your Employees, Are They Your Biggest Cybersecurity Risk?
Cybercriminals work around the clock to detect and exploit vulnerabilities in your business’ network – that we already know. Now, the only way to counter these hackers is by deploying a robust cybersecurity posture that is built using comprehensive solutions. However, are you overlooking the weakest link in your fight against bad actors? Your team, that is.
With the current environment and the well-known remote work stance, businesses like yours must strengthen their cybersecurity strategies to counter human errors and data breaches perpetrated by malicious sources. All employees, irrespective of their designation or rank, can expose your business vulnerabilities to cybercriminals.
Implementing routine security awareness training for employees can help you prevent a vulnerability from being exploited and becoming a disaster. As the first (and perhaps, the last) line of defense against penetrations and cyberattacks, your employees must be thoroughly and regularly trained to identify and deflate potential cyber threats.
Why can your team pose a risk to your businesses?
According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2020, 23% of data breaches in an organization occurred because of human error.
An untrained team member can compromise your business’ security in multiple ways. Some of the most common errors committed by employees include:
- Falling for phishing scams: with the past and current health circumstances, hackers masquerading as the World Health Organization tricked people into clicking on malicious links and sharing sensitive information. Cybercriminals are using improved techniques, like spoofed emails and text messages, to propagate the ongoing scam. Train your team to counter this type of attack.
- Bad password hygiene: a good number of your employees might be reusing the same password or a set of passwords for multiple accounts (business and personal), which is an extremely dangerous habit that allows cybercriminals to crack your business’ network security. Here is an article on how to better this area: Password or Passphrase? 5 Reasons to Use Passphrase.
- Mis-delivery: even the slightest lack of care can lead to an employee sending sensitive, business-critical information to a person (a hacker?). Such an act can cause lasting and costly damage to your business, which is why you must be prepared to counter it.
- Improper or poor software patch management: Often, employees can delay the deployment of security patches sent to their devices, which can lead to security vulnerabilities in your business’ IT security left unaddressed. Once more, awareness can go a long way.
The bottom line is that with cybercriminals upgrading their arsenal every day and exploring a plethora of options to trap your employees, security awareness training has become more important than ever before.
An essential investment: Security Awareness Training
A one-time training program won’t help your employees be fully prepared to detect and repel cyberthreats nor help your business develop a security culture. To develop such a culture and provide real knowledge on how to deal with the growing threat landscape, they need regular security awareness training. There are no two ways about it and not confronting this fact is just dangerous.
You must never back out of providing continual security awareness training to your employees just because of the time and money you need to invest in it – as pointed in IBM’s report, the global average total cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86M, and the US has the highest country average cost with a whopping average of $8.64M.
The return on investment will be visible in the form of better decision-making co-workers who efficiently respond in the face of a phishing attempt, ultimately saving your business from data breaches that would damage your company’s hard-earned reputation and even expose you to potentially expensive lawsuits.
Besides the numbers mentioned above, the following statistics highlight why you must deploy regular security awareness training and consider it a necessary investment:
- 8% of organizations experience at least one compromised account threat per month.
- 67% of data breaches result from human error, credential theft, or social attack.
- Since the start of the COVID-19, phishing attacks have gone up by 67%.
- $2M is the average saving of the total cost of a data breach in organizations with an Incident Response Team that tested your IR plans vs. those with no IR team or testing.
Is your Managed Service Provider company doing this? Worth checking: 5 Critical Things Your MSP Should Do.
Expecting your employees to train themselves on how to detect and respond to cyber threats certainly isn’t the best way to deal with an ever-evolving cyber landscape. You must take on the responsibility of providing regular training to ensure you adequately prepare them to identify and ward off potential intrusions.
Every team member must realize that even a minor mistake can snowball into a terrible security disaster for the company. They need to understand that your business’ cybersecurity is also their responsibility. But also, they must have the right tools to deal with this.
You can transform your business’s biggest cybersecurity risk – your employees – into its prime defense against threats while also developing a security culture that emphasizes adequate and regular security awareness training.
Making all this happen seems like an uphill battle? With Sequentur as your Managed IT Service Provider and partner, we will work with you and integrate security awareness training and align it with your Business Goals and cybersecurity strategy.
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