The Human Factor: Keeping Your Cybersecurity Defence Strong and Secure

Most big surveys reckon that human errors are at the heart of security incidents.

Seqrite Jun 14th 2018

Technology is definitely getting hi-tech. But one thing which still remains decidedly rooted is plain and simple human frailty. And in the cybersecurity-obsessed war that organizations and individuals are fighting on a day-to-day basis, human errors can often prove the difference between a secure organization and a devastating breach.

Most big surveys reckon that human errors are at the heart of security incidents. An organization can spend huge amounts of money on getting the right cybersecurity solution and keep it update but it all comes to naught if its employees aren’t on the same page. In fact, hackers and other cyber criminals actively try to elicit mistakes from their targets.

Some of the common human errors which can lead to a security breach are:

Weak Passwords

Let’s face it, we are human beings and not machines. Sometimes, it’s just easier to type in something common (i.e. password123) and use it as a password for all our important accounts. Unfortunately, that simple thing could soon turn back and make yours, and your company’s, life devastatingly bad. A study showed that 35% of users have weak passwords while 63% of data breaches resulted from weak or stolen passwords.

Employees can often use default credentials for their password which can be laughingly easy to guess. Another common mistake is sharing of passwords within employees or writing these down which can easily lead to an insider breach. Organizations need to ensure that employees receive proper training regarding strong password. But even just training is not enough – compliance needs to be also enforced with password changes being enforced on a regular basis.

Phishing for trouble

Hackers know that human beings can be gullible and can be easily tricked into volunteering sensitive company information. These can be in the form of fraudulent phishing emails where the messages appear to be coming from legitimate sources but the purpose is to trick the recipients.

While people are becoming increasingly aware of phishing, that does not mean they are not at risk. Criminals go to great ranges to replicate official emails and users need to look very hard to spot the difference. If one email account within an organization is compromised, hackers may use that email to send official-looking mails to their colleagues which they may blindly trust.

The trick is to ensure that employees remain always alert when they receive emails which ask them to volunteer information. They must ensure they check the mail extremely thoroughly and if required, cross-check it with their information security team.

Malware problems

Malware is disguised on the Internet in many forms. While, as mentioned in the last point, it can come in the form of innocuous-looking but actually suspicious links in email, it can also be there on the Internet waiting for unsuspecting employees to click on it.

There are plenty of dangerous websites out there which can take advantage of browser vulnerabilities and install malicious software on the network. Organizations should use a Web Filtering tool which manages and controls the websites employees can use to ensure they stay safe and keep the organization safe on the Internet.

Strengthening the weak link

A few things organizations can do to plug this weak link are:

1. Timely training

Employees should undergo regular training so they can identify the different types of threats outlined here. The training should encompass the warning signs, what to watch out for and the action to be taken in case of an inadvertent mistake.

2. Minimize impact and damage

A multi-layered protection system with all the latest software and patches updated is the kind of solution that organizations must aim for. Access rights and permissions to employees at different levels must be defined with proper password creation and data management policies.

3. Timely backups

Most importantly, organizations must be prepared for any eventuality and ensure timely and proper backup. The backups should be at multiple locations like cloud, external hard drives to minimize damage.

Seqrite Endpoint Security (EPS) solution offers a multi-layered security system, incorporating innovative technologies like Anti Ransomware, Advanced DNA Scan and Behavior Detection Systems to ensure that today’s networks stay secure from advanced threats.