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Sep 28, 2023
Security & Compliance

The Human Factor: Addressing the Role of Employee Awareness in Cybersecurity

The Human Factor: Addressing the Role of Employee Awareness in Cybersecurity

While IT plays a vital role in modern business, people are still the backbone of any organisation. Your organisation is comprised of people working towards success, and all of the technological implementations within any company exist due to human choice.

However, there are a lot of challenges that every organisation will face because of this. When considering cybersecurity specifically, the human factor of your organisation is a massive consideration — there is always room for mistakes and errors.

Of course, it’s natural for humans to make mistakes like this, but it can be a massive factor in your organisation’s cybersecurity posture. There are ways around this, however. Education is key here, as ensuring that your employees not only know what to look out for — but also why — will help them avoid mistakes and oversights going forward.

That’s why in this article, we’re going to go over how you can solve these problems by educating your workplace to ensure that everyone knows what to look out for, resulting in fewer oversights and mistakes in the future.

The State of Cyber Risk in 2023

RiskOptics released a report called ‘The State of Cyber Risk 2023’, which goes over some of the greatest risks to organisations in 2023. There were four major key findings regarding personnel that are vital to know and understand —

- Cyber risk management confidence is high: Generally. organisations are quite confident about understanding the risks of cybersecurity in 2023.

- There’s a disconnect between the confidence levels and the actual ability to put cyber risk programs into action: Organisations are struggling to actually act on cyber risks while still feeling confident that they know the risks.

- Organisations can’t agree on what the risks are: 45% of organisations defined risk the same way, showing a massive amount of confusion.

- IT teams are struggling to keep up: Between being understaffed and over-pressured, lack of good investment in IT is affecting organisations worldwide — through pressured and strenuous decision-making that can lead to oversights.

With this, it’s obvious that organisations aren’t clued up on what the actual cybersecurity risks that their organisation could face are — meaning that a good amount of education is required to ensure that everyone is on the same page about how to tackle cybersecurity.

The Importance of Employee Awareness

Reduce Chance of Data Breaches from Phishing Attacks

Phishing is a social engineering attack that preys on unpreparedness and a lack of education on the topic. A phishing attack will traditionally have the hacker pretend to be a source of authority, to aim to get credentials off of an unsuspecting victim. This can cause significant security breaches within your organisation and could cause a lot of damage if the attack is completed successfully.

The best way to stop a phishing attack is to educate people on how to be aware of phishing attacks. Small details like fake email addresses, formatting layouts, and even mistakes within the email are great ways to be aware of a scam before falling victim to it, but the only way to do this is by educating everyone.

Build a Security Aware Culture

Education is the most important way for your organisation to be able to stay aware of important information within any aspect of business — this should be the same for cybersecurity.

Building a culture that is not only knowledgeable about security but also uses it actively in practice will protect your organisation, as major security oversights will reduce due to the active knowledge of your organisation.

Meet Compliance Requirements

Compliance is vital in the modern business world. Falling out of line with compliance regulations can be a way to have your organisation faced with legal repercussions with fines or even litigation.

Ensuring that everyone within your organisation knows security procedures and information will help your organisation stay within security and data compliance regulations, to keep your organisation out of trouble.

Built Trust with Customers

Your customers will value and trust your organisation more if those within your organisation are clued up on security. Customers value trust and honesty, and attention to detail towards security is usually an indicator of trustworthiness and also general care.

By being knowledgeable of the risks, your customers will know that they can rely on your organisation and trust you to do the job correctly.

How To Implement a Cybersecurity Employee Awareness Programme

Implementing a cybersecurity employee awareness program to ensure everyone inside of your organisation is clued up on cybersecurity is the best way to teach and educate your employees about the essentials.

To ensure that your cybersecurity employee awareness programme is thorough and educative, multiple steps must be taken:

1.     Identify objectives: Before planning the programme, you need to work out what the objective of the programme is.

2.     Split employees into target groups: By splitting your employees into tailored groups, you can work much more closely together to ensure that everyone knows what they need to know. For example, different target groups can consist of key decision-makers, general employees, etc.

3.     Create a time plan: Planning out your programme’s timetable is a great way to ensure the programme is effective and runs in a reasonable time.

4.     Evaluate your plan after initiation: Checking it is effective and up to date regularly will ensure that it works for your employees and does what it needs to.

How We Can Help

Cybersecurity is of utmost importance within your organisation. Without taking a focus on cybersecurity, your organisation can become vulnerable to attacks and other breaches.

Awareness training is key. Many cybersecurity risks are caused by human error, so education is vital to help employees know what not to do and what to look out for.

If you’re looking for help with cybersecurity, reach out to us today. Our experts are here to help you through the whole process and educate your organisation on modern cybersecurity.

Get in touch with us now and see how we can help.