Your Biggest Cybersecurity Risk: Your Employees

Security Awareness Training

Implementing Routine Security Awareness Training For Employees Can Help You Prevent A Vulnerability From Escalating Into A Disaster.

Cybercriminals work round the clock to detect and exploit vulnerabilities in your business’ network for their personal financial gains. 

The only way to counter these hackers is for small and mid-size businesses to create and sustain a strong cybersecurity posture backed by comprehensive security solutions.

However, while you’re caught up doing this, there is a possibility you may have overlooked the weakest link in your fight against cybercriminals — your employees.

With remote work gaining traction and decentralized workspaces becoming the new norm, businesses like yours must strengthen their cybersecurity strategies to reduce and prevent human errors and data breaches perpetrated by malicious insiders.

All employees, irrespective of their designation/rank, can expose your business vulnerabilities to cybercriminals.

Implementing routine security awareness training for employees can help you prevent a vulnerability from escalating into a disaster.

As the first line of defense against cyberattacks, your employees must be thoroughly and regularly trained to identify and deflate potential cyberthreats.

Why Employees Pose a Risk to Businesses?

An untrained employee can compromise your business’ security in multiple ways. Some of the most common errors committed by employees include:

  1. Falling for phishing scams: With the onset of COVID-19, hackers masquerading as the World Health Organization (WHO) 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. Your employees must be well-trained to counter it.
  2. Bad password hygiene: A section of your employees might reuse the same password or a set of passwords for multiple accounts (business and personal), which is a dangerous habit that allows cybercriminals to crack your business’ network security.
  3. Misdelivery: Even slight carelessness can lead to an employee sending sensitive, business-critical information to a hacker. Such an act can cause lasting damage to your business, which is why you must be prepared to counter it.
  4. Inconsistent patch management: Often, employees can delay the deployment of a security patch designed to protect against a known vulnerability on their device, which can lead to security vulnerabilities in your business’ IT network and systems if left unaddressed.

With cybercriminals upgrading and perfecting their attacks and methods every day to trap your employees with Phishing Emails by leveraging the art of Social Engineering, security awareness training has become more important than ever before.

Security Awareness Training: An Essential Investment

A one-time training program will not effectively help your employees to stop cyberthreats nor help your business develop a security culture. To deal with the growing threat landscape, your employees need ongoing security awareness training.

The first step to creating a strong security posture is to make a budget to reserve the time and money needed to protect your business.

The return on investment for your business will be visible in the form of:

  • better decision-making and attention to details;
  • employees who efficiently respond in the face of adversity;
  • ultimately saving your business from data breaches, damage to reputation, and potentially expensive lawsuits.

The following statistics highlight why you must deploy regular security awareness training and consider it a necessary investment:

  • Eighty (80%) percent  of organizations experience at least one compromised account threat per month. 1
  • Sixty-seven (77%) percent  of data breaches result from human error, credential theft or social attack. 2
  • Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, phishing attacks have gone up by sixty seven (67%) percent. 3
what to expect

Expecting your employees to train themselves on how to detect and respond to cyberthreats certainly isn’t the best way to deal with an evolving threat landscape.

As a business:

  1. You must take on the responsibility of providing regular training to your employees to ensure you adequately prepare them to identify and ward off potential cyberattacks.
  2. Every employee must realize that even a minor mistake can snowball into a terrible security disaster for the company.
  3. Employees need to understand that your business’ cybersecurity is also their responsibility.
  4. Establishing Cybersecurity Policies as part of the Employee Handbook is a great starting point.
  5. You can transform your business’ biggest cybersecurity risk – your employees – into its prime defense against threats by developing a security culture that emphasizes on, and promoting, adequate and continuous security awareness training.

Making all this happen will require continued effort and may seem like an uphill climb, but with the right partner by your side, you can easily integrate security awareness training into your business’ cybersecurity strategy.

Protect your Business. Take the First Step.

The first step towards training and empowering your employees starts with an email to us.

Feel free to get in touch anytime to schedule a call or meeting.

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Article curated and used by permission. Sources:

  1. McAfee Cloud Adoption & Risk Report
  2. Verizon 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report
  3. Security Magazine Verizon Data Breach Digest
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