In order to keep the organization safe and secure, employees don’t have to be paralyzed by fear. They only need to understand what threats look like and how to mitigate them.
While all employees are responsible for keeping their workplaces safe, this goal does not have to come at the expense of productivity. As cybersecurity awareness grows in companies across the world, “click paralysis” has set in, with employees fearful of infecting their networks by clicking on malware. As a result, they refuse to click on legitimate and safe content.
The goal of cybersecurity training isn’t to make end users fearful of everything; rather, it’s to teach them how to spot and avoid threats when they occur. When employees go to unreasonable lengths to achieve this goal, they end up undermining their cybersecurity systems by creating disincentives to stay compliant. Who wants to follow cybersecurity rules that hinder them from doing their jobs? Employees who try to protect themselves by avoiding digital content indiscriminately are also failing to develop the cybersecurity skills they need — if they adopt a blanket no-click policy, they aren’t exercising their best judgement or putting what they’ve learned into practise.
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Leveraging Culture to Prevent Click Paralysis
Fostering an open culture is one approach to keep fear and paralysis at bay in the workplace. Employee apprehension about reporting possible breaches and other problems to their superiors is a serious cybersecurity issue that enterprises encounter. Only 26% of employees think they can report an incident without fear of retaliation, according to a 2020 PwC Workforce Pulse survey. This status quo is detrimental to the creation of a strong cybersecurity culture because it leaves managers and IT professionals in the dark about what is going on in their own organizations.
Companies must address these issues immediately by making it clear that no one will be penalized for informing a manager about a potential cyber-attack, even if the employee who submitted the report is the one who is responsible. Employees should be rewarded for confessing to making a mistake and taking steps to mitigate the damages.
It’s all about culture when it comes to cybersecurity awareness. Companies will boost productivity while also protecting themselves from cyber-threats by promoting responsible behavior and maintaining transparency.
Employees Play a Key Role in Prevention
The methods used by cybercriminals are always evolving. Despite the fact that cybersecurity investments are increasing and major cyber-attacks have been in the news for years, the frequency and cost of cyber-attacks continue to increase. However, no matter how skilled cybercriminals become, a well-trained workforce remains the strongest defense against their attacks.
Manipulation and deception of humans are still more important to cybercriminals than any other factor. According to Verizon’s “2021 Data Breach Investigations Report,” social engineering is still the most common breach strategy. This means that the great majority of security breaches are avoidable; employees only need to be able to recognize the threat in each case.
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Employees that allow anxiety to rule their decisions and prevent work from being done are allowing cybercriminals to hurt the organization even if an attack isn’t successful. This is why businesses should place a priority on empowering people to take cybersecurity into their own hands by establishing clear channels for reporting problems and cultivating a cybersecurity-aware culture.
Employee Training for Recognizing Threats
There are numerous approaches for businesses to help employees in striking a balance between security and productivity. While citing real-world attacks is necessary in a cybersecurity education program to highlight which techniques attackers employ, these lessons must always be constructive. Despite the enormous damage they can cause, threat actors should not be portrayed as an unstoppable force of nature – the last thing anyone should do is convince employees that their efforts are in vain.
As a result, every terrifying news concerning cyber-attacks should be followed by a clear call to action. If a company’s network has been compromized by a phishing scheme, the lesson should focus on the attack vector that was used and how it may have been avoided.
Because human behaviour is involved in the process at some point, every social engineering attack could be prevented. Rather than viewing this as a discouraging reminder that employees are responsible for a large percentage of cyber-attacks, businesses should view it as a chance to significantly reduce risk in a cost-effective and long-term manner. Employees will be more confident in what they learn as a result, reducing the risk of cyber-attacks and click paralysis.
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