Whether your business is big or small, works strictly within an office, or has joined the legions of people opting for remote work, cyber-attacks are a real risk across the board. According to statistics collated by the UK Government, two in five businesses (39% in total) and a quarter of charities (26%) report having cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months – with the report suggesting that fewer businesses are taking recommended measures, such as installing antivirus software.
While it’s understandable that the pandemic has contributed to this huge drop in security due to scattered work teams and rerouted resources, with fewer businesses using monitoring programs to watch for suspicious activity, employees are quickly becoming easy pickings for a cyber attack. New data has shown that businesses are less aware of the issues staff are facing while working from home, and they are simply unable to intervene fast enough when a security threat occurs.
It might seem like overkill, but ensuring all of your employees are clued up on the processes and procedures regarding your business’s critical systems not only gives you peace of mind but also equips your team with the tools needed to protect their work. A study by Swiss company LUCY Security found that 96% of employees unanimously said that a better level of cyber security awareness added to overall improvements in their company’s defences, lessening the chances of a dangerous security breach and precious data being leaked to criminals.
To fully understand the importance of training your employees to better defend themselves and their work assets, we need to look at the full impact that a breach can have on a business. A data breach in this circumstance is defined as ‘an incident where information is stolen or taken from a system without the knowledge or authorization of the system’s owner’ – such a breach can be a nightmare for small businesses and large companies alike.
A breach can occur from a number of sources, which is why ensuring your employees understand what to look out for and know how to keep important information safe and secure is key. Human error is part and parcel of life, but those mistakes can be costly when it comes to the accidental leakage of confidential data, thanks to an accidental ‘send all’ or blind CC.
Another branch of risk surrounding staff includes malicious insiders, which happens when a deliberate breach of information is made by an employee. Ensuring that only the most relevant people have access to confidential documents with application security is a sure-fire way to resolve this, and it stops the likelihood of physical theft – regarding computer drives and documents – happening too.
Phishing scams are also security incidents designed to catch busy or unsuspecting employees out and are designed to look like a harmless link or email that gives access to malicious software. Ransomware attacks are another risk that targets security flaws, infecting operating systems and holding data hostage until a payment is made.
Good cyber security management and a good IT support company not only decreases the risk of cyber threats but also gives your employees the relevant experience to target and tackle these problems should they occur, ultimately enhancing cyber security awareness and digital competence throughout the business.