When your employees get an email that looks like it’s from one of your clients, with a link to an invoice to pay, are you confident they won’t click on it? If one of your senior staffers gets an email from the CEO asking them to wire money to a different account, how confident are you that they won’t? What about when an employee is at home, checking their work email on their mobile device and gets an email asking them to take a free survey for a chance to win an iPad. What’s stopping them?
1. 91% of successful data breaches started with a spear phishing attack
Social engineering attacks, or phishing emails, can look very real for the busy and untrained eye. Even ones that are particularly sophisticated. Your employees’ level of awareness is your frontline defense against these kinds of emails.
Small- and mid-sized businesses are increasingly targeted with the simplest and most effective measures because, commonly, these businesses are easy prey. Employees are busy, untrained and likely can’t detect these emails. Hackers are banking on your employees not being able to detect the most basic phishing emails. And 9 out of 10 times, they’re right.
As hackers have become more creative and have evolved their tactics, software has proven an unequivocal match in keeping these emails out of inboxes. Companies are spending money to upgrade or add new antivirus software, anti-malware systems, firewalls, spam filters and security analytics.
Of course, all of this is necessary, but it will not detect every threat. No IT company or solution provider can guarantee 100% protection because of the human element. That is to say, nobody can guarantee your employees won’t click the wrong thing and download malware. Even the best software can’t protect people from themselves.
3. Cybersecurity awareness training is one of the most cost-effective and powerful security solutions available
Most companies know they need some kind of security software, but without IT security experts guiding their decisions, they miss one of the most cost-effective methods for preventing successful attacks and the subsequent loss of data, money and reputation – ongoing cybersecurity awareness training for their staff.
According to Symantec’s annual benchmark report, in 2017 spear-phishing has emerged as the most widely used method for an attack.
Training employees is a low-cost solution and one of the most powerful solutions at protecting your network as it is effective in protecting your network. The responsibility to protect your network often falls on the shoulders of your unsuspecting employees, and it takes little more than a single click to wreak havoc on your network with ransomware, a breach of data, a cyberheist or something else.
No matter how well you fortify and protect with security solutions, your employees remain your weakest link.
With statistics that put employees in the hot seat for the majority of malware and phishing attacks, it’s clear the effectiveness of cybersecurity awareness training is paramount. Once per year training is inadequate at ensuring employees have the most current developments in hacking and cyberthreats. Sporadic training like this serves only to cover the rudimentary basics and often doesn’t measure how well employees grasped these concepts. When they’re exposed to sophisticated phishing attempts, they’re every bit as likely to succumb to them.
We recommend the following:
- Ongoing education campaigns that rely on applicable knowledge
- Continuous practical tests and evaluations to see how employees respond to phishing emails
- Specific, tailored follow-up education for employees who demonstrate the need to maximize your success rate and address areas of weakness in your company
Employee cybersecurity training should be part of a holistic IT security plan that’s based on what you need and what works within your budget. Deerwood Technologies’ signature GUARDIAN Managed CyberSecurity services offer robust, proactive IT protection for commercial businesses and public sector agencies at an affordable price.
Will your employees know what to do when they get a phishing email? Contact the security experts at Deerwood Technologies and learn how to get ongoing, real-world training and curb the threats to your organization. Call us at 218-534-5357 or reach us online.