There are plenty of things to worry about and plan for when you consider all the outside threats in cyberspace. Interestingly, for most companies, the weakest link is the insider threat – the employee who has either not been properly trained or let good practices slide, inadvertently opening the door to cyber criminals.
Negligence and a lack of training often work hand in hand to create a situation that can take down a company – or at the very least, cause a major inconvenience. In some cases, the insider threat is maliciously working against you, operating covertly to wreak havoc, but that is less common. Addressing the likelihood of employee error compromising cyber security may be your best first step for securing data.
Companies can remove some of the risks by simply including cyber security topics in their orientation and ongoing training. By sharing the financial impact of a breach on the company and their individual jobs, as well as the mitigation strategies employees can participate in to prevent an intrusion, management can reduce the likelihood of employee errors.
Holding employees accountable is a top priority in any well-planned strategy for dealing with cyber criminals. For example, employee credentials are often stolen and used to nimbly hop over cyber security barriers. The 2022 Data Breach Investigation Report from Verizon offers the following statistics:
- 82% of breaches involve errors, misuse, and social attacks
- 62% of system breaches involved criminals who compromise partners
- The increase in ransomware went up 13% in the last year
- The average cost of a data breach is $4.24 million
These are startling stats that should encourage companies of all sizes to invest time and energy into developing more proactive strategies for dealing with inside and outside threats. A good place to start is by educating users about password hygiene, implementing multi-factor authentication, and continuing educational programming to keep everyone up to speed on the latest threats so insiders don’t become the problem.
Planning Your Defense
If your infrastructure for threat detection is outdated, it likely takes a reactive approach, which doesn’t do much to prevent today’s cyber criminals from taking insider threats and turning them into actual doorways. Also, older security solutions are known for analyzing data and creating false positives, which kills the trust factor and can slow the response to true threats.
The best cyber security strategies take a more proactive approach, such as using automated and machine learning solutions to provide behavioral analytics that are valuable in preventing multi-million dollar events.
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