A Little User Training Goes a Long Way

We live in a world where we are continually bombarded with news about cybersecurity breaches and data breaches. Even with here in Cincinnati, small businesses have been held hostage to ransomware and had their business closed due to data breaches. While most people think of cybersecurity as something that happens when someone hacks your email or social media account—and while that’s certainly a big part of it—it actually has to do with protecting your entire technology ecosystem from outside attacks. Those attacks can come from anywhere: malicious software on your device, for instance, or someone trying to access data from afar.

This can make it feel like there is nothing you can do to protect yourself, but the truth is that there is a lot you can do! One of the most important things is to educate yourself on the ways in which hackers break into your system and what steps you can take to stop them.

Learning how hackers get into your system will allow you to understand how they work and what kind of information they might be looking for. You should also learn how to spot a potential hacker before they even try to get into your computer or mobile device. It may seem daunting at first, but don’t worry! We’ll walk through some simple tips that will help protect you from cyberattacks.

What Causes Cybersecurity Breaches?

Cybersecurity breaches are a growing problem in today’s world. In 2022, the global cost of a data breach increased 2.6% from $4.24 million in 2021 to $4.35 million, according to IBM Security’s “The Cost of a Data Breach Report.” However, cybersecurity breaches can be caused by a multitude of factors, depending on the organization. The following reasons may cause them:

  • Malware and ransomware attacks
  • Falling for a phishing scam
  • Poor password security
  • System and network vulnerabilities
  • Unpatched and un-updated equipment
  • Unsecured devices on the network
  • Stolen hardware (laptop, tablet, phone)
  • User error and negligence

As you can see, the world of cybersecurity is constantly changing. New vulnerabilities are discovered and exploited, new threats emerge, and new countermeasures are implemented. The pace of this change is faster than ever before, making it difficult for organizations to keep up with the latest threats.

While some breaches are caused by external factors, many result from human error within an organization. It’s not just that people don’t know how to protect their computers properly—it’s that people don’t even know they should be protecting them. This is especially true when it comes to user education and training. User education can help organizations understand what they’re up against, while training provides users with the skills they need to defend themselves against attacks.

Human Error Accounts For 95% Of All Successful Cyber Attacks

Human error is by far the leading cause of cybersecurity breaches—it accounts for 95% of all successful cyber attacks. This means that even though we have more sophisticated technology than ever before, it’s still up to humans to implement it properly and prevent breaches from happening at all. In fact, many cybersecurity experts say that user error is one of the top three causes of breaches, along with social engineering and malicious code.

Many times, users are not aware that they are making a mistake or do not know how to avoid making them. This results in a lot of data being stolen and stored for future use by hackers. The following are some examples of common mistakes made by users:

  • Opening emails from unknown senders
  • Downloading files from an unknown source
  • Using public Wi-Fi networks without proper security measures in place, such as VPNs
  • Using weak passwords or using the same password for multiple accounts
  • Running unfamiliar applications and programs
  • Accidentally exposing sensitive data

So, what can you do? It’s not just a matter of teaching users how to use the system but also teaching them how to use it effectively. This means they must be aware of what they can do with the system and why it’s important to protect sensitive information.

The good news is that user education and training can help you reduce your risk of being attacked. User education and training can help prevent these breaches by teaching users about common mistakes and providing them with guidance on how to avoid them. The result is a more secure environment that is less likely to be breached by human error.

Tips for Effective User Education and Training in Cybersecurity

Users should also be made aware of the risks of not protecting sensitive information, as well as the consequences for failing to do so. When employees understand how their actions affect the company’s bottom line, they’ll be more likely to take security seriously.

Here are five tips for effective user education and training in cybersecurity:

1. Make cyber education relevant to employees’ daily lives.

One of the biggest reasons why cybersecurity education often fails is that it’s not relevant enough to employees’ daily lives. If you’re trying to teach your employees about phishing attacks and malware, but they don’t understand how those things can impact their jobs, then it’s unlikely they’ll retain any information or take action on it.

Employees need to feel that they are receiving valuable information and training, especially when it comes to cybersecurity. Employees should be made aware of the importance of cybersecurity, how it affects their daily responsibilities, and how they can help ensure the security of their organization. By teaching them how they can contribute to the cause, you will be able to provide a more effective training experience for both you and your employees.

Make sure that your training includes examples of common phishing attempts that are relevant to the role played by each employee. For example, if you have an accounting department where employees handle sensitive data and financial transactions, give them examples of how phishing emails can be used against them in those roles—and how they can spot them before they become victims of fraud.

2. Teach users how to identify and report a security incident.

It’s important that all employees know the signs of a cyberattack and how to report them. Ensure your employees understand that “security incidents” are not limited to things like malware or phishing attacks, but also include things such as social engineering attacks and many more. This way, your users will be able to recognize when they’ve been targeted by hackers, and they can report it right away instead of waiting until it’s too late.

One of the most common ways that hackers gain access to sensitive information is by phishing attacks. These can be very difficult for users to detect because they often look like legitimate emails from someone within their organization or someone they know personally. A great way for employees at all levels of an organization—from executives down through secretaries—to learn about how these attacks work is by taking advantage of training resources that provide them with specific examples of what these emails typically look like and how they should respond when they receive one.

When a user identifies a potential security incident, they should also have clear instructions on reporting it. This gives employees confidence if they know what to do if something happens and they aren’t sure who else to contact or where else to look for more information.

3. Educate employees about common types of cyber attacks.

Cybersecurity is a complex topic, and it can be difficult to teach your employees everything they need to know about it. But you can start by educating them on some of the most common types of cyber attacks. This will give them an idea of what they should be looking out for, what they should do if they see an attack in progress, and how they can help prevent future incidents from happening in their department or company.

Make sure that users know exactly what phishing emails look like so they can identify them when they receive them in their inboxes or at their desktops. Users should know how ransomware works to know what steps they need to take if they accidentally open one of these files on their computer or mobile device. Educate users about social engineering attacks so they know not to click on links sent by unknown senders or download attachments from unfamiliar sources. The more aware your employees are about common types of attacks, the better equipped they will be in the future.

At the most basic level, all users need to know how hackers try to trick them into giving up their data. Users should also be aware of what types of attacks are most common in their industry or region. This will help them spot suspicious activity when it happens so that they can react quickly without wasting time on false alarms.

4. Implement an effective password policy.

Many people don’t realize that weak passwords often cause security incidents. This is because many users choose passwords that are easy for them to remember but also easy for hackers to guess. To avoid this problem, ensure you have an effective password policy in place at your business or organization—and enforce it!

You should also make sure that all of your employees are aware of your organization’s password policies so they know what kinds of passwords are allowed or not allowed (e.g., length restrictions). All employees must understand this policy, so they don’t use easily guessable passwords like “12345” or “password1.” Not only is this bad practice from a security standpoint, but it also makes it harder for your team members to remember which password goes where.

Passwords should also be changed regularly and should not be reused across multiple systems or accounts; they should also never be shared with anyone other than designated supervisors or coworkers who have been given permission by management. Employees must be aware that there are consequences for sharing passwords or using someone else’s account without permission. These consequences can range from disciplinary action up to termination, depending on severity.

5. Include cybersecurity topics in the new employee onboarding training.

Your new hires may not realize that cybersecurity is such an important part of their jobs until they’ve worked with you for a while, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until then to start educating them about it. Include a section on cybersecurity in your new employee onboarding training so that they can learn about it right away and be able to apply those lessons as soon as they get settled into their roles at your company.

You can also include information about common types of attacks (see idea #3), such as phishing emails or ransomware, as well as how you will go about reporting them if you see or experience one yourself or with another employee. You’ll also want to make sure your employees know about your password policies that are in place (see idea #4), so they can follow them properly when logging into their computers or using company resources online.

This will help ensure that employees understand the importance of cyber security and that they know what to do if they see or suspect anything suspicious. Make sure that you explain the importance of computer security and why it’s important for everyone on your team to be aware of how to protect themselves and their company from cyber attacks.

Cybersecurity Education Isn’t Optional Anymore—It’s A Must.

As IT experts, we know that one of the most effective ways to protect your business is through ongoing user education and training. It’s important to keep your employees informed about the latest threats and potential vulnerabilities, as well as how they can help protect your company from security incidents.

If you want to be successful in the cybersecurity industry, you need to have the right skills and knowledge. And these days, that means learning from the best in the business. If you’re looking for an opportunity to take your business to the next level, 4BIS.COM can help. We provide cutting-edge services in cybersecurity and technical support so you can enter today’s job market prepared with the tools and knowledge you need to succeed.

Whether you require additional IT support for your company, help with an upcoming IT project or want us to manage your IT services in Cincinnati, our professionals are ready to serve. Contact us at (513) 494-4444 or email us at info@4bis.com for more information about the reliable IT services we offer.

Written by James Forbis
Posted on: December 23, 2022
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