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Employees Are The Largest Attack Vector

Employees Are The Largest Attack Vector

By now, our inboxes, LinkedIn feeds, and websites of cybersecurity companies have all tried to tell you that Company employees are the most significant attack vector and pose the most considerable cybersecurity risk to all businesses.  Those same companies advise firms to subscribe to some online training for “all your problems will be solved.”  This advice, unfortunately, is not valid.

Since the early days of the westward expansion, fast-talking elixir salespeople have been peddling the magic potion that cures what ales you.  As with most things, complicated problems demand a complex solution.  This could not be more true when evaluating cybersecurity risks and putting together a strategy to lower those risks.

It’s true; cybersecurity awareness training does affect reducing employee-related cyber attacks.  However, it’s only a piece of a larger strategy to improving a companies security posture.

Black Bottle IT advises clients to address six critical areas to tangibly lower cybersecurity risk. 


  1. Security Awareness Training – Online training, monthly newsletters, in-person training.  These are all great ways to educate employees on the day-to-day threats. Education material needs to be delivered with more regularity, we recommend monthly.
  2. Email Security – Email is the most common way employees get duped into giving credentials or cutting a check to the wrong payee.  Email security alone just isn’t enough.  A phishing AI engine that learns employee email habits can effectively flag and stop the excellent attackers from posing as an executive and social engineering an incident.
  3. Security Operation Center — Having suspicious activity analyzed in almost real-time to detect unauthorized network access is critical to stopping/limiting a cyberattack before any real sensitive data is stolen. Some companies may have cyber tools to alert, but having the expertise to analyze alerts, determine if the threat is credible, and quickly determine the next steps is crucial to respond to an actual attack.
  4. Ransomware Protection — Stopping a ransomware attack before it encrypts meaningful amounts of data is the best peace of mind a company could ask for.  Bad actors will attack, employees will click on threatening emails, and ransomware will try to encrypt critical data. 
  5. Solid Back-Up Strategy – In the unfortunate event of ransomware attacks, having off-site, isolated back-ups is the only way to restore business operations and prevent a costly crypto payment from resuming operations.
  6. Incident Response Planning — Knowing the who, what, where, when a cyber-attack is suspected saves valuable time when a cyber threat is supposed. Performing annual “fire drills” to simulate actions taken during a cyber attack will ensure a quick response and could potentially limit the damage during an actual incident.

Ok, so there are seven recommendations, but this one is outside our expertise. We’ve seen enough offer this advice:


7. Cyber Insurance — having a good cyber insurance policy can further reduce the financial risk of a cyber attack. Most companies with some kind of cyber insurance have no idea if the coverage is correct for their level of risk.  Look to FifthWall Solutions for more information about access to the right insurance policy for your size of business and industry. 

About the Author:

This blog was written by John Hensberger, Managing Partner of Black Bottle IT.  Earlier in his career, John was also part of a company that experienced a cybersecurity breach. That experience fueled his passion for assisting other companies with their cybersecurity needs to mitigate their risk. As Technology Executive and Cybersecurity Advisor, John was recognized as the Pittsburgh CIO of the Year, 2014.  Connect with John here.


The Importance of Cybersecurity Awareness and Training for Employees

The Importance of Cybersecurity Awareness and Training for Employees

The average cost of a data breach is a massive $8.19 million in the US. This cost means a data breach can spell disaster for any business, making cybersecurity a significant concern for businesses.


Assimilation of your staff in good cybersecurity practices is a must for any company in the modern era. Yet, what are the specific benefits of cybersecurity awareness? 


In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why cybersecurity training is of the utmost importance. Are you ready to learn more?

Then read on.


1. A Cost-Effective Solution to an Expensive Problem

As we’ve discussed, a data breach is expensive. There are a few different ways that you can try to prevent them, but the most cost-effective way to avoid them is by training your employees. 


A well-trained workforce will be able to recognize cyberattacks and social engineering attacks that they may otherwise not. The training is the most effective way to prevent a data breach and all its subsequent costs.


A well-trained workforce is a protected one. Think of training costs as a small investment today to prevent a more significant problem further down the road.


2. Ensure Compliance With Data Security Regulations


Data breaches aren’t the only issue that you need to worry about these days. Your customer’s data may fall under various regulations that you need to adhere to on their behalf.  These may include HIPAA and GDPR, depending on your industry.


Failure to comply with these regulations can have severe consequences, including fines. As these regulations are very complex, a thorough training regime is required to ensure compliance, and combining it with cybersecurity awareness is very cost-effective.


3. Enhance Your Business’ Reputation


Investing in cybersecurity can offer a significant boost to your company’s reputation. Demonstrating that you value your customers’ security is a valuable trait in today’s world.


It may also help you market your company: if you make a point of your company’s data security approach, clients will be more likely to trust you with their data. 


4. Your Employees Will Gain New Skills


Cross-training your employees comes with some fantastic benefits. When your employees understand cybersecurity to a greater level, they will solve the more simple and common problems that arise in day-to-day work.


This cross-training means that you may save money on your IT costs, too. If your staff understand cybersecurity best practices, they will feel more empowered and confident when working with sensitive information.


5. You Can Minimize Human Error


Human error is a big problem in cybersecurity, with human error accounting for a large proportion of data breaches. There is no need to be malicious intent by a third party: human error can lead to sensitive data being exposed or leaked without anyone else being involved.


Cybersecurity awareness minimizes human error, which cuts out a great deal of potential data breaches.


Cybersecurity Awareness Is Vital


Why should companies increase cybersecurity awareness among their employees? There is a vast range of benefits, including better security, a better reputation for your business, and a better skill set for your employees.


Cybersecurity awareness and training are of vital importance in today’s world. If you want to train your employees, we’re here to help. For more information and to discuss our services, get in touch with us today.