In the wake of unprecedented rates of digital crime, with the cost and frequency of data breaches constantly skyrocketing year after year, companies all over the world have been forced to scramble for solutions. There’s an arms race running behind the scenes of every piece of technology we use in business today, as cyber security companies shore up their clients’ defences against increasingly sophisticated digital threats. Billions of dollars are now poured into batting away would-be intruders from the most precious assets on global networks: most of the money directed toward the software that keeps everything afloat, just out of reach of the bad guys.
But even as each day brings a new technological apex for security solutions, data breaches continue. Despite the fact that the tools hackers use to make money are more or less the same as they were three years ago, nobody seems to question why companies are still being hacked at record levels. It’s easy to imagine a crack team of infamous hackers hammering away at a keyboard into the late hours of the night, feverishly computing the one piece of code that will break them into a system.
This may be the process behind the high-profile breaches you read about in the news each week, but in reality, most cybercrime takes much less effort. The average hack succeeds not because of overt vulnerabilities in the structure of business networks, but because of a mistake made by you or your employees. According to IBM’s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, more than two-thirds of breaches arise from what they call “inadvertent insiders,” folks who accidentally left the network vulnerable from one action or another without even realising it.
Most of the human error that becomes the root cause of catastrophe can be traced back to phishing. A criminal spends some time researching your organisation, maybe learning a bit about an employee or two, and decides to masquerade as someone worthy of trust either within your team or from a company you contract with, or just a stock person offering something pretty much everybody wants. They mock up a somewhat convincing e-mail and send it off to 10 people within your business. Somebody clicks the included link without thinking, and there you go – you’ve got ransomware. If you haven’t backed up your data, you’re looking at a hefty fee to get everything back, if they even give it back at all.
In other cases, your team may actively duck around your previously implemented security measures or avoid the procedures you’ve put in place to keep the business safe. That can mean visiting unsavoury websites, ignoring a vital security patch or another minor transgression. But when every mistake spells a potentially massive vulnerability, you can’t afford people who aren’t conducting business to the highest standards in cyber security.
Regardless of how it happens, most hacks occur because employees just don’t know better. Even in 2019, when cybercrime runs rampant and virtually everyone is constantly at risk on the Internet, most of us just aren’t well-versed in ways to protect ourselves, much less the companies we work for.
"Somebody clicks the included link without thinking, and there you go — you’ve got ransomware."
The good news is that this problem is pretty easy to prevent through education. To keep everyone abreast of the latest threats to their livelihood, it takes a thorough set of rules, guidelines and general savvy to steer them through the troubled waters of modern cyberspace.
Of course, this will take more than a 30-minute crash course in the break room one afternoon. It’ll take a concerted effort and dedicated resources. Luckily, we can help. With a trusted partner dedicated not only to keeping your organisation protected from the latest digital threats, but to keeping your employees alert and ready to spot anything phishy, you drastically decrease the chances of your business becoming another statistic in the war on cybercrime. Work with us and secure the future of your company for the long haul.