The argument for educating employees on cybersecurity is a simple one: if employees don’t know how to recognize a security threat, how can they be expected to avoid it, report it or remove it? They can’t. Employees & Cyber-Security have a complicated history. Employees are the first line of defence in Cyber Security & Information Security.
One is only as strong as its weakness. In the pyramid of People-Process-Technology, the one that creates & holds up the process and technology are the people, the employees. 4 of the 5 top causes of data breaches are because of human error. This should make us ponder over the foundation of the triad, People.
Lack of awareness in employees has caused havoc leading to major data losses resulting in lost reputation & trust among the users, loss of money & time. These dangers could have been averted if they were made aware of the perils of being on the Internet.
“People are cyber security’s weakest link”
An organization can create, implement & maintain a stringent rule for the safety of its digital assets. But security can only be assured only when its employees are aware & trained to understand the very basics of Data & of importance Cyber-Security. Hackers are benefitted from the careless, stupid and lazy behaviour of employees, online. Carless clicks on obvious phishing emails, download random malware, plug-in blatantly malicious USBs. Lack of training also leads to, use ‘password’ or ‘12345’ as a password, and then reuse the same password across multiple websites. The portrayal of these employees has been quite ‘absurd’, but this has been the reality for a couple of decades.
People & organizations are vulnerable to attacks as much as they are moving towards safety. Employees, weak-security practises & misconfigurations will be blamed. But the ‘blame game’ cannot be helpful in avoiding the cyber-attacks or the vulnerabilities. A completely different approach to analyzing the reasons for vulnerabilities, why humans are being the weakest link & what measures can be taken to prevent these.
In this Internet age, where an infinite volume of information is as close as the nearest browser. Wikipedia, Google & open-source software platforms have created platforms on which the digital information is available and can be accessed for free. As a result, this has created tension with brands and copyright holders facing rampant piracy of commercials. Problems arise when employees treat data casually, sharing it without any restrictions, circulating critical information without any measures and exploiting the same information, when they leave.
Technology for Humans, by Humans.
In the hyperloop of connectivity, we cannot avoid using technology. The Internet can be a blessing if backed-up with awareness & careful use of technology. It can be a curse if manhandled. Poor Cybersecurity behaviour occurs as the result of the behaviour which is rooted in error-provoking situations, rather than error-prone people. So, individuals or employees who are adequately trained do not contribute to the weakening of these links in the information chain.
Taking a negative approach to understand, analyze & reporting such incidents has led to a fear-induced environment around cyber-security & safety. Instead, they should be comfortable in reporting phishing attempts, data breaches, questioning and understanding every aspect in detail, and sharing bits of useful information. They should be made aware of all the dangers floating online and should be thoroughly trained so that they shouldn’t consider themselves as a liability.
Businesses of every scale are dependant on technology. Businesses need systems & technology but humans are the decision-makers in every aspect. Advancements in the innovation of technology have created an arrogant and supercilious authority to the technology. Humans the actual creators of this technology are being blamed as the weakest link. Absurd, right?
For addressing this problem correctly, we need to humanize the technological solutions that are deployed. Constant exposure to deadlines, workload & follow-ups, employees often fail to realize the repercussions of technology. Employers also fail to access the risks that are posed by trusted personnel can be highly dynamic. The employees must be trained thoroughly and the risks along with actively managed.
Organizations are willing to spend 10x to 20x of the time and resources in securing technologies & networks, but wouldn’t take up measures in securing the HumanOS.
In almost all cases, organizations choose to take up measures when the cyber-attacks have left their organization crippled. Along with lost reputation, time & money, they still won’t figure out the correct areas of rectification of mistakes that have led to the vulnerability exploits & attacks.
Organizations that don’t give priority to proactive security awareness or risk assessment are doomed to spend a hefty amount on mitigating PR nightmares from scandalous data breaches. Training should be made compulsory in order to train your employees for the existing threats. It provides them with an extra edge in understanding the upcoming threats and how to detect & report them, as soon as they encounter them.
Employees are not conspiring to bring about the downfall of the company. Nothing that sinister. But as humans, employees make mistakes, they’re trusting of fake identities, tempted by clickbait, and vulnerable to other sneaky tactics used by criminals to gain access to company information.
It pays to be a Winner. For every field, humans are the first line of defence. Train your human forces & build walls of security around your systems, networks & data with Bulwark CyberX.