07 May Why Your Employees Are a Cybersecurity Risk
Why Your Employees Are a Cybersecurity Risk
The typical office employee sees more than 120 emails pass through their inbox every day. They have many duties to attend to, from creating documentation to managing projects. Workers are pressed for time and may not look too closely at emails before they send responses. Cyber criminals take advantage of this situation through phishing.
What is Phishing
Phishing emails do their best to look like they’re legitimate. They often have sender names that match other people in the organization or from an external partner. The requests that they make may sound straightforward. These emails have attachments with malicious files or links that try to load malware on the system. The employee gets tricked into installing this software and the hacker now has a way to access that workstation or the business network.
Phishing attacks attempt to steal account information to get into business systems, financial accounts for directly accessing funds, personal information to fuel additional intrusions and sensitive data. In some cases, the cyber criminal is engaging in corporate espionage and tries to retrieve trade secrets.
How to Train Your Employees About Phishing and Social Engineering Threats
“According to Intel, 43 percent of data breaches were caused by internal actors. Of those, 21 percent came from unintentional actions by employees.” Training your staff members is an essential part of a robust IT security strategy. People who aren’t tech-savvy may not know about phishing, or they might expect the emails to be recognizable at a glance.
Social engineering is another attack vector that front-line employees need to know about. Whether it’s someone calling in, emailing or coming to the office in-person, cyber criminals can be effective at tricking workers. They assume the identity of a person who would have good reason to access the information they’re requesting, or visiting data centers and other areas of the building.
Your cybersecurity awareness training program needs to approach this information in a way that’s understandable by employees at all skill levels. They don’t have the same background that your IT security team has, so the information should reflect that.
Allocate enough time and resources to ensure successful training efforts. Employees learn in different ways. Offer instructor-led workshops, online training, one-on-one coaching, written manuals, and other options to encourage completion.
Ask for feedback from the employees most likely to be targeted with a phishing attack. Find out whether they feel better educated about these IT security risks or if they’re still confused about how to identify an attack. Cover what to do if they receive a suspicious email or open an attachment from these messages.
Get Help with Implementing Cybersecurity Awareness Training Programs
You don’t need to have the necessary training resources in-house. A managed IT service company can provide the training materials and workshops necessary to get every employee up to speed on phishing and other threats.
Cybersecurity awareness gives you the opportunity to mitigate IT risks and use more of your IT security resources fighting more complex attacks. Data breaches are a constant threat for businesses, especially if you operate in a higher-risk industry such as finance or healthcare.
Your employees don’t intend on helping cyber criminals break into your business infrastructure. They just don’t know the extent of the risks that phishing and social engineering pose. When you put the right training programs in place; you empower employees with the knowledge they need to become a cybersecurity asset.