Cybercrime is a common part of business these days. Even if you haven’t encountered a hacking or malware incident at your business in recent years, the fact is that cybercriminals are coming up with new methods of stealing and compromising sensitive business data every single day. At best, modern cybersecurity measures are 99.9% effective; cybersecurity experts around the world agree that hacks and data breaches are an inevitable part of a business.

cyber security awareness

A majority of cybersecurity services offered today include the best in vital technologies, from firewalls to anti-malware to data encryption and more. However, as important as this technology is, on its own, it simply isn’t enough. The key to truly comprehensive cybersecurity is simple, yet often overlooked: the user.

Your employees are the weak link. Of course, it is important to have a well-managed and maintained IT infrastructure, but in today’s business world social engineering is the number one security threat to any organization. The alarming growth and sophistication of cyber attacks only make this problem worse, as cybercriminals go for the low hanging fruit – that is, your employees.

Cybersecurity gimmicks — such as “set it and forget it” firewalls and antivirus software — fail to account for how important the user is. Even the most effective digital security measures can be negated by simple human error, which is why conventional solutions are simply not enough to ensure your business’ safety.

Much of cybersecurity is dependent on the user, and as such it’s vital that you properly educate your employees in safe conduct. The more your workforce knows about the security measures you have in place, the more confidently they can use the technology is a secure manner.

That’s why extensive security training is so important for you and your staff. By walking your employees through the most common cybercrime methods — phishing, ransomware, email spoofing and more — you can ensure they’re prepared to bolster your business’s security, rather than compromise it.

The best part? It may even eventually pay for itself! If you’re currently paying for cybersecurity insurance — and if you’re not, you should be — then you may be entitled to a discount on your premium by investing in security training for your staff. Call your carrier or agent today and find out if you can save some money by training your staff.

This is equally important because some forms of cybercrime that rely on the participation of an employee won’t be covered by the insurance. It may fall under human error, for which the wrong carrier or policy won’t pay out. So, not only will training help you save money on your premium, it will also help you avoid situations where you won’t be covered!

In 2016, 80% of U.S. companies suffered a cyber attack, and 47% of these were due to ransomware. The lack of employees’ cybersecurity awareness is the leading cause of successful ransomware attacks. This is the easiest way for cybercriminals to obtain access to your private data. Share these tips with your employees to start boosting your cyber defense today:

  • Phishing: This is the most popular tactic used by today’s ransomware hackers. They deliver malware in the form of an email, chat, web ad or website, and design it to impersonate a real employee. They send a message with a sense of urgency and importance, from a government agency or a major corporation to trick your employees.
  • Baiting: This is similar to phishing, and typically involves offering something enticing to an employee in exchange for private data. The “bait” could come as a digital file, such as a music or movie download; or a fake link in an email saying “check out our new employee policies.” Once they go for the bait, the malware is free to infect the computer and the network.

Make sure your employees are aware of emails containing attachments that they aren’t expecting. Before clicking on anything, they should confirm who the sender is via a phone call, text message, or by sending a separate email.

  • Malicious websites and malvertisements: These are designed to look like a legitimate website. Cybercriminals can make them look incredibly real by display branding and logos from actual organizations (such as banks). The hackers then insert a code into a legitimate site which redirects unsuspecting users to their malicious site.

    Teach your employees how to check URLs by hovering their mouse over the link to reveal the complete URL in the status bar at the bottom of the browser.

As technology continues to become more sophisticated and complex than ever before, your employees may be operating on outdated knowledge, which can quickly put your business at risk for a data breach!

Train your employees to keep them safe AND save money on insurance. For more information, get in touch with Centerpoint IT right away at (404) 781--0200 or sales@centerpointit.com.  

Category: Atlanta IT Service Articles, Date: 2nd February 2018, Author: Chris Chao

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