The ever-changing digital landscape has made it easier than ever to do business. But this ease comes with a cost. Especially when it comes to owning a business. This is because you have the liability of cyber security and your employees.
We have become increasingly dependent on services that are managed by vulnerable systems. The ever-increasing threats to these systems can cause, more than ever before, damage to a business’s reputation or finances. And the outlook isn’t good. Ransomware can be easily obtained as a subscription service. What’s worse, the odds of cyber criminals getting caught are extremely low.
Unfortunately, cybercrime has become big business. You may be under the impression that having a security program in place is enough. But the strength of your company’s defenses may come down to something even simpler. And this would be educating and engaging your employees in cyber security.
The Impact of Cyber Security Breaches on Businesses
According to Shred-it’s State of the Industry Report, employee negligence is the main cause of data breaches. Surprisingly, 47 percent of business leaders stated that human error had caused a data breach at their organization. And the cause is usually accidental loss of a device or document by an employee.
According to Poneman’s 2018 “Cost of Data Breach Study”:
- This year’s study reports the global average cost of a data breach is up 6.4 percent over the previous year, around $3.86 million more.
- The average cost for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information also increased by 4.8 percent, or $148 million.
These studies make it clear that just having cyber security specialists onboard isn’t enough. Your best defense lies in training your employees. Strong cyber security systems therefore rely on employees understanding where the threats originate and making smart cyber defense choices.
So, let’s take a look at the types of cyber threats and how to avoid them before they infiltrate your network.
Cyber Threats and Business
Cyberthreats fall into the following categories:
Confidentiality attacks via social engineering.
Cybercriminals steal personal information by psychologically manipulating people into performing actions. Sadly, these actions inadvertently give away or give access to confidential information. This then leads to multiple types of theft, including identity theft.
The most common form of social engineering is phishing attacks. And phishing emails even get through to business and organization email accounts. Unfortunately, they actually impersonate other real businesses so well that employees don’t realize the crime until it’s too late.
Attacks on integrity.
These attacks consist of personal or enterprise sabotage. Often referred to as leaks, APTs (Advanced Persistent Threats) aren’t necessarily a leak from an employee.
More often, an unauthorized user infiltrates a network undetected and stays in the network for an extended period of time. Their goal is to steal data with no harm to the network. The cybercriminal then exposes the data to the public. This then causes the public to lose trust in that organization.
Attacks on availability, or malware.
Malware accesses or damages a computer without the knowledge of the user. And sometimes these attacks are more extreme. This happens when it blocks the user from accessing their own data until they pay a fee or ransom.
What Companies Can Do to Engage Employees in the War Against Cyber Criminals
- Secure sensitive information in desk drawers or in lockers. Shred paper documents when necessary. Take notes on a computer or laptop.
- Back up files regularly onto a separate drive or secure cloud software.
- Update devices regularly. Software updates contain fixes for security issues.
- Destroy hard drives. Information is not always deleted on a hard drive – even if you think it is.
- Only use trusted sites and services when providing confidential information.
- Don’t open email attachments or click links in emails from unknown sources.
- Report lost or stolen devices immediately. Make sure every employee knows whom to call if something happens.
You may already have a cyber security protocol in place. You may also have an entire department or third party dedicated to cyber protection. And it’s great to have cybercrime defense experts on your team. But most importantly, educate yourself and your employees about safe digital practices and the potential dangers of mistakes.
So what’s the first line of defense on the war against cyber criminals? Keeping cyber security in the forefront of your employees’ minds.
We Put Your Goals First
At Saddock Advisory your business’ financial security is our priority. For three decades we have been building safe and reliable relationships with our clients. Many of them have even been with us for the long haul! We take the time to get to know you and we have the experience to listen with an open mind. This way, we’ll understand your financial challenges and appreciate the nuances.
Looking for more helpful resources on important financial matters for your company? Check out our blog!