You can have the best cybersecurity framework and the best team of IT professionals monitoring and defending your system but, sadly, that’s not enough to prevent 100% of cyberattacks.
Why? In 2021 alone, 85% of data breaches involved some form of human error, and 94% of malware was delivered via email. Malicious actors like hackers and spammers know that your employees are often the weakest link in your cybersecurity system – and it’s something they commonly exploit.
So, how can we make our employee network as well-protected against cyberattack as our IT frameworks are? That’s where cybersecurity awareness steps into play.
Real Innovation Group discusses the importance of cybersecurity awareness and what you can do to create a more aware, better-equipped team of employees when it comes to cyberthreat.
What is cybersecurity awareness?
Cybersecurity awareness is the idea of being informed of and alert to the risk of cyberattack. Recognising potentially false or suspicious emails, being mindful of the dangers of clicking into something unauthorised and keeping alert when interacting online are all examples of cybersecurity awareness.
Cybersecurity awareness amongst employees doesn’t have to go to the extent of understanding deeper cyber defence terms like SPF records or DNS cache poisoning; instead, it should focus on giving employees the information they need to carry out their daily duties while being confident in detecting possible threats.
There are different levels of cybersecurity awareness, so of course your sales team or admin staff aren’t going to be as proficient in cybersecurity as your IT team. However, the good news is, your employees don’t need to have degrees in cybersecurity in order to be adequately aware of cyberthreat and the common techniques used by hackers to compromise systems.
Why is cybersecurity awareness important?
Cybersecurity awareness amongst employees is becoming more and more important in the overall success of your business’s cybersecurity ecosystem. Here’s why:
- Human error is the weakest link of cyber defence
Like we said earlier, 85% of data breaches in 2021 involved a human element. Hackers know that the weakest link in your cybersecurity system is your workforce itself. To close that gap and create a well-protected system, increasing your workforce’s cybersecurity awareness is crucial.
- Identify phishing attacks
Bad actors almost always use phishing as a method of cyberattack on your employees. This is when a hacker sends an email posing as someone legitimate in order to get sensitive information from one of your employees. While email spam folders detect most phishing attacks for you, there are still some that slip through the cracks and make it into your general inbox.
Training your staff to identify phishing attacks is one of the most important ways to increase cybersecurity awareness. Providing sufficient training on this could save your business tens of thousands of dollars, if not more. In fact, IBM revealed that the average cost of a data breach in 2021 in the US worked out to $4.24 million.
- Improved work culture
Creating cybersecurity awareness is the first step, but the ultimate goal is to create a culture of vigilance in the realm of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity practices and detecting fraudulent content should become second-nature amongst your employees, with a culture of sharing examples of suspicious emails that they receive in order to better educate their co-workers.
How to increase employee cybersecurity awareness
Increasing cybersecurity awareness amongst your employees has to start with management. As a leader, it’s your job to instigate a culture of hyper-vigilance towards cybersecure practices.
- Train your employees how to identify false or suspicious content
Training your employees to identify phishing emails is a great place to start. Some of the common traits of phishing emails include urgent calls to action, threats, poor spelling and grammar, mismatched email domains, unfamiliar senders and suspicious links attached.
- Keep the training regular
A once-off training to detect such threats often isn’t enough for employees. Constant refresher courses are invaluable in keeping cybersecurity awareness relevant and fresh in the minds of your staff. Through repetition, this information will become ingrained in their minds when at work.
- Cyber drills
Training is one thing, but testing your staff’s ability to respond to cyberthreats allows you to see how well-prepared your employees are in the event of a real cyberattack. Cyber drills involve sending simulated phishing attacks, and seeing how your staff respond to them. Afterwards, you run a staff training session to debrief, discuss the results, and formulate a plan to improve.
Real Innovation Group are Australia’s leading team in a broad range of cybersecurity services. If you’re interested in bolstering your cybersecurity framework, or educating staff about better cybersecurity protocols, Real Innovation Group is here for you. Prevent problems, get innovative solutions and save money all at the same time when you talk to the team at Real Innovation Group and inquire about our cybersecurity services today!
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