The misconception that cybersecurity is solely a task for the IT department is dangerous. “Security isn’t something you can solely delegate to your managed service provider (MSP). The truth is, the first line of defense against cyber threats is the individual user who also poses the greatest security risk,” explains Robert Giannini from GiaSpace.
Every enterprise, regardless of size, holds sensitive data about its business operations. This information may involve business associates, customers, or contractors. The alarming increase in the frequency and severity of cyberattacks indicates that any organization holding data, especially third-party information, is susceptible to these threats.
The Human Element in Cyberattacks
Intruders no longer solely rely on bypassing firewall perimeters to gain network access. They have devised advanced methods, exploiting employees to breach defenses. “The human element is the biggest cybersecurity risk. In most cases, the perpetrators aim at the human, not the technology,” says Ed Anderson from Dyrand Systems.
The need for cybersecurity awareness and best practices in the workplace is ever-present, given the persistent nature of cyber threats. Cybersecurity training in the workplace is vital, considering that about 88% of data breaches result from human error.
Adopting a “Verify Then Trust” Model
An effective security culture should follow a “verify then trust” model instead of the traditional “trust but verify” approach. Glenn Kemp from Clear Concepts in Winnipeg suggests, “In the context of Advanced Persistent Threats (APT), maintaining a constant level of skepticism within the company can significantly reduce security risks.”
Sophisticated phishing scams often appear as emails from trusted businesses, catching many employees off guard. According to CyberTalk, in 2021, 83% of organizations reported experiencing phishing attacks, and an additional six billion attacks were anticipated in 2022.
|Phishing Email Scams Indicators|
|Emails stating your account is about to expire|
|Bank withdrawal notices|
|Impersonating companies, you do business with|
|Notices for “You’ve been paid” or “There’s a billing problem”|
Cultivating a Cybersecure Culture in the Workplace
Customized Training – The Key to Cybersecurity
Once an organization has established a cybersecurity-oriented workplace culture, educational programs can help enhance understanding of different types of cyber risks and ways to avoid cyberattacks.
Forward Planning – Keeping Track of Cyber Threat Trends
Anderson stresses the importance of regularly evaluating attack vulnerabilities. He says, “Knowing possible entry points, developing contingency plans, and keeping them updated is the best way to combat threats.”
Cybersecurity Checklist – Ensuring Security Basics are Followed Daily
Basic cybersecurity hygiene plays a vital role in bolstering defenses against cyber threats. Consistent practice of the following measures is encouraged:
- Exercising caution with suspicious emails.
- Avoiding dubious websites.
- Backing up crucial data daily.
- Regularly updating operating systems, programs, and mobile devices.
- Learning to use available security tools effectively.
- Remembering that a single mistake or oversight can have dire consequences.
Despite best efforts, there’s no foolproof protection against human error. However, risk mitigation helps manage incidents effectively.
Everyone’s Role in Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity training should be mandatory for every employee. They should understand the risks and constantly stay updated on the evolving cyber threat landscape. Giannini emphasizes, “Adherence to workplace security protocols is imperative. Everyone can contribute to enhancing cybersecurity, whether working as a team or individually.”
Cybersecurity: Our Collective Endeavor
Your IT company must collaborate with clients to make cybersecurity a part of their operations and provides them with compliance services and continuous cybersecurity training.