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The Connection, Inc has been serving the New Jersey area since 1992, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Your Users Are Likely Your Biggest Security Threat, But You Can Fix That

Your Users Are Likely Your Biggest Security Threat, But You Can Fix That

Believe it or not, if you were to rank your business’ greatest threats, risk factors, and vulnerabilities, your users would most likely belong somewhere toward the top. Human error is a big challenge to your security simply because cybercriminals understand that your employees are, in fact, human and will, in fact, make mistakes.

Let’s explore how cyberattacks exploit this tendency and how you can better protect your business from the ramifications.

What Makes Human Beings Such a Security Liability?

“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” — Alexander Pope

However, since Pope wrote the poem from which this quote originated in 1711, it’s extremely unlikely he had any idea of just how badly humans can err in terms of information technology and the ramifications this would have on the businesses that employ them.

There are dozens of factors that lead to people making mistakes. Life is complicated for most people, both in the office and out. People can be stressed, regardless of whether that’s due to office politics or circumstances at home. Maybe they didn’t get a good night’s sleep on a given day. Maybe they have a loved one who’s going through it. Maybe they feel they’re not performing in their role and fear the repercussions.

Some mistakes are caused by sheer laziness… although it can be dangerously easy to conflate “laziness” with overwhelm and burnout in the office. Plus, the path of least resistance almost always looks and feels like the better option, especially when time is a factor.

Whatever the reason, these mistakes can vary wildly in severity, from minor operational setbacks to major, catastrophic disasters. Unfortunately, many of these repercussions revolve around your business’ security.

There’s also the unfortunate fact that many people don’t understand how to stay secure online. Things have certainly gotten a lot better over the past few years. However, the average person still doesn’t typically bring the necessary knowledge of cybersecurity, the intention to apply it, and the practical application of best practices that do so, all in a way that combines into the security your business requires. Regardless of which element of this equation is missing, it makes it far easier for mistakes to be made.

We also need to acknowledge that not all businesses do a great job of training their employees to be secure. Sometimes, training just doesn’t happen, or it doesn’t happen often or thoroughly enough to actually identify and correct insecure behaviors.

Cybercriminals Love How this Fact Makes their Efforts Easier

Unfortunately, human error makes cybercrime a numbers game for many. If a cybercriminal sends out enough hooks, they’ll eventually catch something. Many phishing attacks that are so obviously phishing attacks are actually an attempt to identify who will most likely fall for higher-value scams. If someone is willing to consider sending money to an obscure member of a foreign country’s nobility, they’re much more likely to believe that Microsoft support needs their password and credit card information to resolve a previously unknown issue.

Obviously, these mistakes aren’t something you want happening in your own business.

How Can a Business Turn Its Team into a Cybersecurity Asset?

If you want your team to protect your business and its data rather than leaving it vulnerable, a few things must happen. First, you need to understand that there will never be perfect cybersecurity simply because everyone can make any of the mistakes we reviewed here. While perfection is the ideal you want to strive for, it is unattainable, so you must have business continuity plans and preparations in place to protect you.

To promote your organizational security behaviors, you must make cultural changes to your business so that security is at the root of everything. Engage your team in the process, and be sure to explain security in terms they understand and are pertinent to them. You need to take the lead in setting the standard and promoting it at every opportunity, striking that critical balance as you actively encourage secure behaviors so you don’t risk alienating your team from the process.

This can be accomplished by reducing as much friction from the cybersecurity process as possible, implementing straightforward standards, and remaining transparent about why the “obstacles” you have in place exist. It also helps to reward adherence to security policies over punishing mistakes or oversights and repeating training to correct insecure behaviors moving forward.

We’re Here to Help Businesses Accomplish This Organizational Security

Reach out to us for our assistance! We can provide the tools you need to establish cybersecurity and help you develop the culture to utilize them. Give us a call at (732) 291-5938.

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Monday, 20 May 2024

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The Connection, Inc
51 Village CT
Hazlet, New Jersey 07730