The safety of the corporate network relies heavily on the contribution of employees who use interconnected software, machinery, and other work platforms. Despite the availability of robust cybersecurity tools, cybercriminals exploit human error and carelessness to infiltrate IT infrastructure for illicit purposes.
Educating employees in companies about cybersecurity is vital to safeguard businesses against cyber-attacks. A corporate culture that neglects cybersecurity threatens the organization and other companies that interact with it. A single data breach has the potential to damage your business’s reputation severely, in addition to costing millions of dollars in compensation for the breach.
According to the report, 30 Surprising Small Business Cyber Security Statistics by Fundera, businesses that have been victims of a cyber-attack have a 60% chance of failing within the next six months. People are the weakest link in a company’s cybersecurity, and many businesses do not give enough importance to employee training.
Business owners must understand that the users themselves can be the best and first line of defense. People become highly vulnerable to threats without adequate training and information on cybersecurity and prevention. The lack of employee cybersecurity awareness is a cultural issue that requires attention rather than a technical problem.
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Employee training can include, but not be limited to:
- Responsibility for Company Data
- Document Management and Notification Procedures
- Unauthorized Software
- Internet Use
- Social Engineering and Phishing
- Social Media Policy
- Mobile Devices
- Protecting Computer Resources
An organization’s comprehensive cybersecurity training program should include a training plan, course programs, a final learning test, and an evaluation of test results. Failure to provide such training should result in heavy administrative fines. Cybersecurity experts have even suggested that the government provide cybersecurity investment tax credits to businesses to encourage them to prioritize this issue. Here are some facts companies should consider with training employees regarding cybersecurity.
Do not Blame Employees
Many people blame a large-scale data breach on a single employee who may have fallen prey to a scam or clicked on something malicious. Employee may have made a mistake. However, blaming them for not having the proper knowledge makes the organization evade its responsibility to ensure its network and data are secure.
The organization is responsible for creating a plan that ensures all employees have the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions and know where to seek help. This entails being clear about the protocol, handling questions, and setting up the infrastructure to disseminate information on emerging threats while encouraging employees to prioritize organizational security.
IT Security Policies Alone will not do
An IT security policy is inadequate for safeguarding a business from potential threats, but they fail if always observed by the intended staff and may not stand up against all possible risks.
According to the report, Employees Violating Security and Compliance Policies by eWEEK, an astonishing 44% of companies report inadequate compliance with IT security policies by their employees. What’s more alarming is that although 40% of businesses acknowledge this issue, they take minimal action to address it, with only 26% planning to enforce their IT security policies among their staff.
Frequently, policies are composed in a manner that is too intricate for employees to grasp effectively. Rather than conveying potential hazards and best practices clearly and thoroughly, businesses frequently distribute multi-page documents signed by everyone but read and comprehended by very few.
Have a Right Step Forward
Businesses are actively seeking solutions to address the risks their employees pose. One logical approach is to train employees and hire dedicated staff to enforce security policies, which is a step that many companies worldwide are taking.
Simply having security policies in place is not enough. Companies must strike a balance between policy and engagement to prevent employee carelessness and the dangers of the uninformed employee. Employee training is crucial in raising awareness and motivating personnel to pay attention to cyber threats and countermeasures, even if it’s not part of their job responsibilities.
Endpoint security solutions can tackle employee-related threats like spam, phishing, and ransomware. Companies can opt for customized products that meet their needs regarding functionality, pre-configured protection, or advanced security settings.
Although there is plenty of work to be done, it is encouraging that many businesses acknowledge the need to address the threat from within. They are doing so by investing in additional training, solutions, and human resources to secure their operations against the actions of their employees.
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Businesses face a genuine threat from within. Employee or human error is the second most common cause of a severe security breach, making it clear that companies must take steps to reduce this risk.
Employees can be vulnerable to attack in several ways, such as acting carelessly, being uninformed, or even acting maliciously. The trend towards mobility makes it easier for careless or uninformed staff to make mistakes. Threats like phishing and social engineering increase the team’s risk of being unable to identify malicious activity. Additionally, when employees are involved in a cybersecurity incident, they may attempt to hide it. This will further result in some breaches going undetected for longer, posing a greater risk to the company.
It is more crucial than ever to act now to prevent employee-related threats. While having security policies in place is essential, it is vital to understand that policies alone cannot cover all the risks. Moreover, staff members may not always strictly adhere to policies. Therefore, solutions that provide centralized security management, greater visibility into corporate networks, and training to make employees more aware of the impact of their actions are required. By educating staff on safe working practices, businesses can reduce the risk of attacks and safeguard their most valuable asset, their data.
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