Even though the threat landscape is evolving at an exponential rate, your employees are still the biggest risk to your cyber security efforts as data shows that breaches are often a result of an employees’ actions.
Here are some of the reasons why it’s your employees that are the biggest risk:
1. THERE IS A LACK OF AWARENESS
The biggest reason that your employees are a risk to your cyber security efforts is likely to be because they are unaware of what they should and shouldn’t be doing. If there hasn’t been enough training that takes place regularly, or maybe not enough emphasis on the importance of security then your employees aren’t likely to be aware of the risks they could be taking. They might be unsure as to the risks of being connected to an insecure Wi-Fi network or using a USB drive for clients’ data.
So that your employees avoid cyber security mistakes, invest in thorough training – the best type of training is usually interactive so that employees learn from their actions. A great way to do this is to create your own simulated phishing campaign to help employees understand the impact of their poor online habits, there are plenty of tools out there to help you do this and that will be able to give you a break down on which users clicked and didn’t click.
2. GROWING SOPHISTICATION OF PHISHING EMAILS
Today’s cybercriminals are savvier than ever and the growing sophistication of phishing emails poses a real risk to any business, regardless of its size, with employees unable to decipher whether the sender is to be trusted or not.
Given this trend, it’s important that you stay up to date with the latest phishing techniques through regular training programmes.
3. INCORRECTLY STORING SENSITIVE DATA
Employees might not be aware of how to correctly store sensitive data, and this can result in a number of risks such as staff storing sensitive information on USB drives, printing it out or emailing it to their personal email accounts. Plus, it’s not just incorrectly storing sensitive data but allowing others access to that data by accident – such as leaving your laptop unlocked and unattended.
Of course, GDPR legislation has been put in place to ensure all personal data is well protected but having it on a portable device or printed puts it at risk.
4. NOT UPDATING SOFTWARE
As an employee, waiting for system and software updates can be irritating and often those notifications will go ignored for weeks but missing software updates is one of the most common causes for cyber security breaches as it leaves your networks open to hackers.
System updates usually add new security features to protect it from potential hacks, so it’s crucial that software updates are automatic and can’t be ignored or postponed.
Ongoing security training might involve teaching your employees how to recognise phishing attempts, how to secure their equipment, the importance of software updates and restricting access to unsecure websites to keep security risks to a minimum.
Although there are several ways to train your staff of cyber security issues, such an online training and visual aids, we suggest a phishing campaign is the best way to get your employees attention. Of course, learners who fail the phishing test should be automatically enrolled in further training.