7 Steps Your Employees Can Follow for a Robust Cyber Defense

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Suraj Jaiswal
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Almost all data breaches are due to human error. The reason: humans are easier to crack than firewalls. 

Hackers have understood that simply moving their target from the system’s firewalls to humans helps them gain access to sensitive data in less time and without much effort. According to the 2021 Verizon DBIR (Data Breach Investigations Report), “85% of all breaches involve the human element.” 

Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon, says, “As the number of companies switching business-critical functions to the cloud increases, the potential threat to their operations may become more pronounced, as malicious actors look to exploit human vulnerabilities and leverage an increased dependency on digital infrastructures.”

Furthermore, remote work has increased the risks. Employees tend to use more home networks and personal devices at home-based working environments, which might not be covered by the several layers of security that usually exists in a physical workplace. 

Alternatively, your employees are the epicenter of security at the moment. Their acts can make or break your security.

If the bad news is that your security is failing because of your workforce, the good news is that they can help save it as well. 

With the right security training and awareness, you can prevent cybercriminals from exploiting your employees as a medium to gain access to your sensitive data. It’s time for CHROs and other HR leaders to invest in a security training program that will make your employees the best guard against sensitive data. 

A cybersecurity employee awareness training program for your employees is more important now more than ever. Your workplace, device, employees – everything is on the move, then why isn’t your security? Today, we discuss the best ways – outlined by experts like KnowBe4 and Gartner – to train your employees about cyberthreats.

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#7. Train regularly. Just like Marketing

It doesn’t matter if your employees have a great IQ. Even Nobel Physics Prize winners have been phished. 

So train, train, and train. Just like marketing, where training is always frequent, redundant, and entertaining. Consistent training will keep your teams updated about the latest techniques used by hackers in common cyberattacks like Phishing and Social Engineering. 

While such periodic training can be shorter and more focused, make the training longer and broader if someone new joins the team. 

#6. Simulate cyberattacks 

A monthly or quarterly simulation of a “mock” attack is often considered the best way to create cybersecurity awareness. Simulating a real attack will give your employees a hands-on experience of the situation and help them make the right decision when a real cyberattack happens. 

#5. Create easy ways to “report an attack”

Give your employees an easier way to report emails that they find suspicious. The security team can next review the mail and grade them according to their analysis. A quick and easy way to report will ensure no suspect email becomes the entry source of perpetrators. 

#4. Give the “Red Flags” training

Help your employees spot the gory details that make anything suspicious. For instance, rogue URLs (look-a-alike domains), malicious redirection, strange attachments, or highlights of a highly negative consequence upon not taking the advised action. Identifying and flagging such suspicious elements can help communicate a strong security culture.

#3. Recognize Phishing catchers

Identify your phishing champions and recognize them from helping the organization avert a big financial trauma. You can further take help of these heroes to spread the education among other groups of the company. 

#2. Develop a list of signature techniques

Sorting out vulnerabilities and misconfigurations at the initial point can save from a lot of future troubles. Training your employees about the following signature behaviors can help save crucial time and effort in the future:

  • Creating strong passphrases
  • Not entering unprotected sites or using unprotected networks
  • Using only secured, approved file transfer solutions

#1. Iterate the above 6 steps

Revisiting the steps of your defensible awareness program is the most important step. This will keep your training program updated and outcome-oriented. 

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