Your employees are the weakest link in your cybersecurity

Your employees are the weakest link in your cybersecurity

Multiple security solutions, such as antivirus software, firewalls, and intrusion prevention systems (IPSs), are giving cybercriminals a more difficult time infiltrating IT systems and stealing sensitive data for financial or personal gain. However, there’s one surefire vulnerability hackers can exploit to attack systems: user negligence.

It’s easy to be a victim

A new report from Proofpoint found that more than 99% of threats require human interaction to execute. This could be opening and following links, enabling macros, or launching programs. The report emphasized that hackers are targeting people because taking advantage of user negligence is easier and more profitable than creating an expensive exploit with a high probability of failure.

Cybercriminals can easily get into computer systems using social engineering tactics. For instance, users can easily fall for phishing attacks if an email seems to come from a legitimate source. Hackers can even use corporate emails to make their phishing attempts less suspicious and to trick users into wiring money to fraudulent accounts. This technique is known as the business email compromise (BEC) scheme.

Investing in technology isn’t enough

With cyberthreats growing more destructive to business by the minute, companies are expected to spend more on cybersecurity. According to IDC, global spending will reach $103 billion this year with large enterprises spending the most money. Many small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), on the other hand, think they are less prone to attack, believing cybercriminals would rather focus their efforts on bigger companies. Unfortunately, this is exactly the mindset that makes SMBs very attractive to cybercriminals. Hackers are taking advantage of SMBs’ negligence and weak cybersecurity measures to further their crimes.

Although security software can help protect your business from attacks, your overall protection should not rely solely on these. Employees may commit mistakes and endanger your data. That’s why you should proactively train your employees how to spot threats and what steps to take to address such threats. Here are some ideas to consider:

#1. Train your employees

Teach your workforce to identify various cyberattack methods such as hoax emails. This kind of email often notifies users about imminent threats. Let’s say an email warns that if a user doesn’t click on a “verification” link, their account will be permanently disabled. This is obviously not legitimate.

Instead of trusting a hoax, employees should learn how to respond to them. Only emails verified by your security department and those relevant to business should be trusted. If employees find any suspicious-looking email, they can directly report it to the IT department for safety verification.

#2. Retrain your employees

Your business may have conducted a cybersecurity training in the past year, where your employees learned to spot spam emails, sketchy websites, and phishing attacks. But this doesn’t mean you won’t have to do it again. Hackers will constantly come up with new ways to attack your business, so you have to regularly equip your employees to protect themselves against new threats.

#3. Create secure offline backups

Cloud backups are all the rage these days, but if you suddenly find yourself unable to use the internet during a downtime, how else would you access your files? Offline backups come especially handy during these times. That’s why you should keep copies of all your important files in external storage systems like flash and external hard drives, memory cards, or magnetic tapes. By doing this, even if your employees corrupt your data and you can’t access your cloud backup, you will still be able to access an uncompromised copy.

#4. Use multifactor authentication (MFA)

Instead of just relying on passwords, this technology uses more than one verification method, including a fingerprint scan, login prompt sent to a mobile app, or a one-time smartphone code. With MFA, even if hackers acquire an employee’s login credentials, they still won’t be able to access confidential data without completing the succeeding security steps.

#5. Implement an effective mobile device management (MDM) policy

Your employees can unknowingly leak your data by using mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. MDM makes it easier to remotely administer mobile devices that your workforce uses in and out of the office.

For instance, your employees’ smartphones can be installed with corporate apps that they can use during office hours. Once they leave the office, those programs can be automatically disabled so they can’t access work data and leak them to unauthorized parties.

#6. Partner with a managed IT services provider (MSP)

Your business can sign up with an MSP such as Binatech to ensure that your IT infrastructure is protected at all times, even when your employees commit the biggest cybersecurity mistakes. MSPs protect your business from all cyberthreats. What’s more, they just charge a monthly flat-rate fee so you can budget your expenses more efficiently.

Your IT infrastructure should always stay protected. That’s where Binatech can help. We take your cybersecurity worries away by taking care of your systems 24/7/365, so you can breathe easy any time of the day. Call us today to get started.