The new work environment presents challenges for organizations and employees. According to Gartner, the global information security market is expected to reached $170.4 billion in 2022. This is happening as companies invest heavily in cybersecurity, one of the fastest growing concerns in the modern workplace.
However, smart companies know that most of the savings will come from raising employee awareness. Cybint reports that 95% of cybersecurity attacks are caused by human error. Therefore, the most effective way to keep hackers out of your network is to teach your employees how to invite them in.
The Different Ways Businesses Are Being Hacked
One of the most provocative questions in cybersecurity is how hackers manage to break into computer networks. Most experts agree that this has to do with the human being as the weakest link in cybersecurity.
But there is more to this story.
Here are some ways hackers manage to infiltrate businesses.
Dealing with data breaches is not as simple as companies buying the best, most secure and advanced cybersecurity solution. All these small businesses support you Systems are designed, implemented, and maintained by error-prone humans. That is despite the fact that cybersecurity technologies are extremely strong.
What fails in these powerful security systems is the implementation. The configuration of sophisticated cybersecurity software is exhaustive and a simple mistake can open up a huge vulnerability in the system. As long as there is a divide between the strength of cybersecurity solutions and experience, hackers will continue to find their way into commercial networks.
Hackers have the advantage
Cybercriminals can fully exploit a system by finding a vulnerability. On the other hand, security administrators must find all possible loopholes and patch them before an attacker takes advantage of them. Therefore, security administrators have to do more to maintain network security.
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All the hacker needs is a little patience while they exploit the network vulnerability. Additionally, cybersecurity administrators have to react faster to fix gaps and react to attacks, making hardening cybersecurity an ongoing process.
One of the biggest motivators behind the work of cybercriminals is money. Governments, businesses, and politicians are pouring ridiculous amounts of cash into cybercriminals to carry out cyberattacks against rival governments, businesses, or politicians.
Ransomware has also become a big talking point lately, as hackers make millions by launching powerful cyber attacks against businesses. In May 2021, Colonial Pipeline had to part with $5 million after hackers infiltrated your network with ransomware.
fast moving technology
Technology advances at a dizzying pace. This makes it difficult for humans to keep up with cybersecurity, as newly developed systems expose new vulnerabilities.
However, there is talk in the industry about whether AI will be able to efficiently and effectively replace humans in managing cyber security. They can follow rules more strictly and adapt faster than humans.
Google has embraced AI in its cybersecurity management. It uses machine learning techniques to filter emails with potentially malicious content or attachments.
How employees are contributing to hacks
It’s inevitable that your team members will make cybersecurity mistakes. However, continued awareness will help reduce these errors and the overall cybersecurity risk in your organization.
Here are some ways your employees are contributing to attacks on your network.
Phishing is one of the most prominent strategies hackers use to infiltrate and steal data from a network. Phishing attacks are mainly targeted at small and medium-sized businesses. Most of these attacks occur when an employee clicks on a suspicious link, often embedded in a dubious or fairly convincing email.
Most attackers can hide under the guise of being a company-hired security expert or a member of the customer support team.
They use social engineering to obtain credible information about the company, causing the employee to drop their guard and click on the malicious link, infecting their system or network with the malware.
Technology consumers are getting worse at managing passwords. According to a study, 3 out of 4 technology consumers have duplicate passwords that may not have been updated for at least the last five years. These consumers may be employees who work at your organization.
Weak passwords make it easy for hackers to infiltrate systems or a network. Therefore, organizations must implement strong password policies, especially for software or systems that employees may access over the network.
Weak/incorrectly implemented security measures
Proper IT security measures can significantly improve the cyber security of an organization.
At the infrastructure level, strong and properly implemented security measures include the use of firewalls and web filters. These systems ensure that only the right traffic from trusted sources reaches the employee’s device.
At the employee level, members of your organization must have the discipline to strictly follow the organization’s security measures, such as not connecting to public Wi-Fi.
Unfortunately, the organization may not properly implement security at both levels, and employees may not follow security measures correctly, leading to attacks.
Unappreciated employees can pose one of the biggest risks to an organization’s cybersecurity. Despised or greedy employees can sell sensitive security information, such as passwords, or directly participate in data exfiltration by attacking their systems.
Check personal email at work
Personal emails represent a major vulnerability for an organization’s networks. Most personal inboxes bypass security barriers, such as virus scanners and spam filters, that you may have in place to protect your organization’s emails.
If an employee interacts with a malicious email in their personal inbox while connected to your organization’s IT systems, it can cause damage to the entire network.
2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic made working remotely the new normal for many organizations. Employees now connect to company systems and software through home and public Wi-Fi. This poses a huge cybersecurity risk, especially on public Wi-Fi, which are easy targets for hackers.
Use of Mobile Devices
Mobile devices are highly susceptible to data breaches. Some of the reasons for this vulnerability include weak passwords and the possibility of these devices being lost or stolen compared to corporate workstations.
Additionally, employees tend to load apps, websites, and attachments more carelessly on their mobile devices than on their laptops or desktops, increasing the risk of a cyberattack.
The best way to cut the link between your employees and hackers is to teach them the best cybersecurity practices to employ while working in the office.
Also, conduct follow-up awareness programs to ensure they are constantly aware of what they should be doing and any new strategies hackers have developed.