End-users are frequently referred to be the weakest link in cyber security. This may seem harsh, but when you consider that 95 % of cyberattacks are caused by human error (according to an IBM study), it’s easy to see why.
Your end-users may pose the greatest threat to your cyber security protection if they are not adequately trained. In today’s environment, cybersecurity encompasses more than simply bits and bytes; it also includes people and processes. Employees have broad access to business network resources, and they interact with them in ways that can be abused by using natural human characteristics.
Empathy, kindness, and politeness are essential human characteristics and habits that cyber attackers can abuse. Curiosity, credulity, and naivety can also perpetrate phishing attempts and propagate malware. Attackers identify and analyze targets’ features, attributes, habits, abilities, or knowledge before creating situations to exploit them.
Attackers can take advantage of targets if they understand their goals, drivers, and overall qualities. Employers aware of these personality types and the risk factors connected with them can take the required precautions to reduce the danger of exploitation.
Personal, workplace, immediate, and situational features and habits are the four basic kinds of exploitable traits and habits. These four types of characteristics are generally connected and interact. Social engineers can make use of such pairings. Personal attributes, such as helpfulness, curiosity, and openness, are among the most basic human characteristics and are sometimes difficult or impossible to change, making them prime targets for social engineers.
Workplace characteristics refer to the features of a specific workplace or position inside an organization. These characteristics may alter over time depending on working conditions, such as when a worker changes roles, tasks, or projects.
Momentary features are usually transient and can change rapidly depending on the circumstances. Situational qualities are fleeting characteristics that respond to a stressful scenario, such as a security breach. They are treated separately since they usually do not assist an attacker in taking aggressive action but rather affect how an attack is carried out once it has been detected.
Need for Cyber Security Awareness Training
Security awareness training has become more critical than ever with rising cyber dangers than security awareness training. Here are some reasons why your company might consider offering it to its employees.
Every company’s worst dread is becoming a victim of ransomware. Given the high expenses of cleanup and recovery, it’s not surprising that they have more than tripled in the last year to $300,000 per event.
Despite the regularity and expense of such attacks, some businesses overlook the importance of providing cybersecurity training to their personnel. Consider the following numbers:
- Security failures were acknowledged by 22% of businesses.
- Only 78 % of employees correctly answer questions in a cybersecurity awareness audit.
The most effective defense against social engineering is to raise staff security awareness. Employees who are well-trained and security-aware can prevent, identify, and report security occurrences and incidents because they are the company’s first line of defense. While technical safeguards such as next-generation firewalls play an essential role in network security, a persistent socially engineered user can usually get around them.
To upskill employees and help prevent, detect, and respond to cyberattacks of various types, an organization should design security awareness training specific to their settings.
Security awareness training should incorporate content such as live assault simulations targeted to audience members and posters and slides. Gamified learning programs also promote active engagement, which leads to increased material intake and retention.
Employees must understand their role in keeping the company safe, and executives must develop a transparent culture that allows employees to share issues and mistakes. Participants learn to detect their weaknesses, exploitable features, and behaviors in an effective security awareness program. While there is no cure for “human stupidity,” good training can help to create a new generation of cyber-aware employees, who are the ultimate first line of defense.