Firewalls, anti-malware, network security - you can have all the perimeter technology in the world, but without prioritising security awareness training, your employees will still hand over the keys to the kingdom.
It’s easy to see why the importance of security awareness training often slips down the list of priorities. After all, many awareness programmes fail to follow even the basic and fundamental principles of training employees effectively.
But whereas security awareness training slides down the ladder, human negligence is hastily creeping up - with human error now being the root cause of most security breaches.
So, let us give you a deeper look into why security awareness should be removed from the abyss, and instead placed at the top of your business’s priorities for 2019. You'll thank us later…
Phishing isn’t going away anytime soon
Good news is, more and more people are becoming familiar with what phishing emails are. But despite that progress, cyber criminals are targeting businesses with more phishing email campaigns than ever before. Why? Because they work!
One of the main reasons for this is due to the fact that phishing attacks are evolving in variety. The mass-mailer technique of distributing these fraudulent emails to a high number of recipients remains, but techniques such as spear phishing, smishing and whaling are now even more effective.
And with the likes of Twitter and Facebook boasting billions of active users between them, 2018 will continue the trend of social media being the key ingredient for social engineering attacks on employees.
Technology is evolving
Over the past decade, technology has evolved and multiplied. There seems to be an electronic use for everything. Whilst technology has certainly helped businesses carry out their day-to-day business, it has also opened up many opportunities for cyber crime.
Making sure your employees are aware of the dangers but also the best security methods to use is crucial. After all, the list of targets for criminals is never-ending.
Ransomware is on the rise
Organised cybercrime is a business, and just like any other legitimate business they want to have low-risk and efficient operations in order to maximise their profits. That’s why malware that holds your data hostage isn't going anywhere until it stops being profitable for criminals (and we’re not betting on that anytime soon).
But don’t be fooled: ransomware won’t just leave you short of a minor one-off fee, it will leave you with the possibility of paying the ransom and still losing your data anyway, or even for the hostage-taker leaving a backdoor open for later use.
It's painful to hear, but you’re not as smart as a cyber criminal
We’re sorry, but it’s the truth: cyber criminals spend their days crafting up new ways of penetrating companies like yours - and they’re really good at it.
They also have the dark web at their disposal, helping them to develop lists of targets, create harmful websites, get emails through spam filters, and deploy the malware once the target is compromised.
To rub salt in the wounds, cyber criminals can then recycle their successful scams under a different domain name when they’ve run their course. That’s where the money (and motive) is.
Social engineering attacks are on the rise.
Social engineering attacks come in all forms - even phishing is a method of social engineering. This type of attack relies on the manipulation of human emotion. Our human nature makes us so vulnerable, there are 3 common psychological traits that help social engineers succeed:
-Our desire to helpful
-We tend to trust people
-Not wanting to disappoint people
All it takes is someone to respond to an email with the information requested by the social engineering and they can easily gain access to the victims accounts.
Insider threats are becoming more common
Insider threats continue to make the news on a regular basis. Most people associate insider threats with stealing information and data. According to the Insider threat spotlight report, 74% of organisations feel vulnerable to insider threats, and 56% of security professionals say insider threats have become more frequent in the past 12 months.
It's all well and good knowing what insider threats are what dangers they may bring to your organisation, but knowing how to prevent is what matters. Read our blog on why insider threats are growing and what you can do to prevent them.
Prioritising security awareness training won’t drain your resources (trust us)
If budget is the issue for your business not prioritising security awareness, then let us tell you: security awareness training doesn't have to be expensive - and it can end up saving you a whole lot in fines and other expenses that come with breaches.
Firstly, there’s the monetary cost of training your end-users in order to reduce human-prone security breaches, compared to the data loss, financial loss, and regulatory fines you’re faced with in the aftermath of such a breach.
Then there’s the actual affordability of training your employees. It’s fair to say that many security awareness programs vary in prices depending on where you look and what you’re looking for in terms of company size. That being said, affordable training solutions that can be tailored towards SMBs and enterprises are out there - and the costs are surprisingly low for the services they bring.
To round up, the number of cyber attacks against our businesses will undoubtedly continue to increase. Training end users to help keep your business safe should be at the top of the agenda.