Regardless of the progress made in cybersecurity technology, the number of attacks has not decreased; on the contrary, it continues to rise. Why? We could say that there are many reasons, such as the sophistication of the threats or the use of adequate tools. However, there is one reason that stands out above all others: the lack of user awareness in companies.
According to some of the latest surveys on digital security, users could be the gateway for at least 80% of attacks on organizations.
This means that it is not enough for companies to address cybersecurity challenges solely by implementing anti-virus software, firewalls, software security updates, and other real-time monitoring devices.
Rather, they need to address a holistic approach that enables the development of conscious employees capable of following best practices to protect systems.
The human factor represents your company’s most valuable resource. Why then allow it to become a weak point?
Find out the importance of user awareness in your company and discover the best way to promote it in your organization with the help of this article we have prepared for you.
First things first, what exactly do we mean by user awareness?
Until now, many of us have been fully convinced that strong security strategies are based exclusively on building a good IT security team and implementing complex technical tools and procedures.
As a result, the human bond has too often been neglected. A paradox, considering that the ill-informed employee is a wide open door to external attacks. In this context, user awareness is an essential strategy to ensure the protection of the company’s systems.
When we talk about user awareness, we do not mean turning company employees into cybersecurity experts. Nor is it a question of saturating them with daily talks about system protection, as this would reduce their productivity.
Raising awareness in this case is simply to ensure that each member of the organization receives the necessary training to protect themselves and the company from any possible attack.
What is the risk of not promoting user awareness?
With the multiplication of connected objects and the mobility of employees, it is difficult to enforce the security practices established by the company. That’s why, whether it’s an IT director, an IT security manager, or an executive, addressing security from a human perspective should be a #1 priority within business strategies.
Otherwise, the consequences can be catastrophic. Among the main risks we have:
Malware infiltration: An employee can introduce malware into systems by simply downloading attachments from an email, or by clicking on unsafe links.
Identity theft from user accounts: Lack of awareness promotes the creation of unsafe passwords, which can be easily hacked or stolen. Implementing a policy of authentication prevents user accounts from being compromised too easily.
Deficient Vulnerabilities or Incident Detection: A phishing attack unmasked by one user will prevent all other users from falling into the trap. But how do you detect and inform IT teams about an attack if you can’t recognize it?
User awareness reduces all these risks.
How can you promote user awareness within your company?
#1 Use certified safety standards
Before starting to raise awareness it is important that you adopt some regulation that allows you to standardize the processes related to the issue of security within your company. A good option is the ISO 27000 family of standards.
#2 Start with E-learning
Does neither your security team nor your employees have time to participate in long meetings? No problem, that’s what e-learning is for. You can make available to all members of the company, an intranet with all the information related to the best security practices of the organization.
Through this intranet employees will also be able to make quizzes to check if they have assimilated the information. They will also be able to access the courses whenever they wish.
#3 Create group training courses
On-site training can support e-learning. This type of resource offers better interactivity, which is a central element in learning. It also promotes better communication between company members.
#4 Simulate attacks
Perform social engineering intrusion tests to check employee alertness before and after awareness operations. This way you will be able to measure progress; and apply new training strategies in case you notice that the ones you have used are not working.
#5 Promote the use of efficient communication tools
Gaps in your company’s communication flow also represent gaps in security. That is why you need to allow members of your organization to send and receive information efficiently; through the use of tools designed for that purpose.
People are undoubtedly one of the weakest links in computer security. In spite of the technological overestimation; the risk will continue to exist as long as companies do not train their employees correctly.
Remember, as we said before, the human factor is your company’s main resource. Make this resource a robust shield that achieves comprehensive protection of the digital assets of your business.
Do you want an even more solid security strategy? Use the right solutions. Acquire Rapid7 InsightIDR and use its User Behavior Analytics to detect abnormal behavior of the people that have access to your system.
Contact us now for more information. At GB Advisors we specialize in helping companies through state-of-the-art tools and professional advice.