Cyber Security for the End User

IT News

In the business world, cybersecurity is a word that gets thrown around a lot. Do this, do that, this system is down, that system is down, someone’s been hacked, etc. It’s the old classic “it will never happen to me” – until it does. And then it really, really does. Having a flagrant disregard or lack of interest in cybersecurity is done so at your peril. Granted, it may not be top of the priority list for your business at the moment, but it is imperative that you prepare yourself in the best way possible. With the rise in the sophistication of security hardware and software, cybercriminals are now looking to the people in organisations as the weak link.

No amount of fortification will stop attacks if your staff open the door in front of the attacker, letting them right in. Whilst you can and should certainly invest in quality, high grade security products, they will count for nothing if your staff are not adequately trained. Giving them the knowledge to protect your business, will give you an almost impenetrable web of employees who are able to detect threats against your livelihood. This protection is priceless.

Ask anybody who is semi-acquainted with technology and they will tell you that the end user is the biggest potential weak link when it comes to receiving cyberthreats. Reforming and empowering this so-called weak link into your biggest asset and protector is essential if you want to stand a chance against the potential to corrupt your business.

Educating staff on things like not falling for and opening every email that comes into their inbox, managing sensible and complex passwords and general computer literacy are realistic items of knowledge that you can pass on with little expense, but that will return big results. Help your staff to not live in fear and always remember that if somebody isn’t sure – just ask! There is always somebody who can help and there are now plenty of resources available to help you combat uncertainty and risk.

Potential mitigation involves putting policies and plans in place to help guide your staff through their relationship with data and the cyber landscape. Cybersecurity training (including BCS’ offering available at https://www.bcseducation.co.uk) is one recommended way of encouraging staff to increase their knowledge. Cybersecurity courses come in many shapes and sizes but generally will give staff a better understanding of what to look out for. Having responsible business processes in place will provide you a pillar of support for your staff. Give them as much cover as possible so they can focus on making your business successful, in a compliant manner.

Cybercriminals know that there is an easy in with end-users. Therefore, it is important as ever to focus on your staff and train them to pre-empt being targeted. Castles are built from the inside out, train your staff from the inside so that it’s difficult for those who do get in, to get to the valuables. Cybercriminals will look at your staff and decide whether or not they feel they can get something out of you. Team members may be profiled or socially engineered over time until enough information has been gleaned to carry out a successful attack.

Rebuilding your business in a cybersecurity disaster will be a grand undertaking. Time can be saved by having adequate measures in place to prevent further delay and ensure a smooth rebooting of your systems. Firstly, staff training is crucial to prevent further breakdowns. Secondly, having backup & disaster recovery plans in place will mean less downtime for your business which should help mitigate potentially catastrophic financial impact. These plans and measures will help create backups of your data, allowing you to resume working at a much faster rate than would normally be expected after a cybersecurity incident.

Having these reinforcements is no doubt imperative, but the root causes often revolve back around to one thing – your end users. A large majority of incidents fall back to a lack of judgement on the end users front. Whilst this assumption may seem harsh, the most important factor with cybersecurity breaches is end users. Many threats require some form of human interaction for them to be successful.

Summary

It could be as small as somebody clicking on a compromised link, or downloading an illegitimate file, but this minute action can have business-wide implications. Telling your staff what to look out for goes a long way. Regular training opportunities for your staff are worthwhile as threats are constantly evolving, keeping them informed is paramount.

If you’d like some assistance in protecting yourself then BCS are able to provide a multitude of training resources that will aid in your cybersecurity journey. Contact us now on 01843 572600.

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