Cyber Security: The Role of Users

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Cyber Security: The Role of Users

All businesses regardless of industry or size are at risk of falling victim to cybercrime. The role of IT professional in implementing and maintaining strong cyber security defenses has changed dramatically over the past thirty years and now all users are in some way responsible for cyber security defense within the business.

Following high profile cyber-attacks and an increase in mainstream media coverage, business owners and decision makers are realising that cyber security must formulate part of the overall business strategy.

Cyber security is a complex system, concerning people processes and technology. In many cases, people can be either the strongest or the weakest link in defending against threats. This is due to the complex and evolving nature of cyber-attack methods, often relying on human error and weakness to exploit systems. Unfortunately for many businesses, a lack of user-centered security design leaves the business vulnerable to attack.

How can you protect your business?

Although one of the most important elements of cyber security, mitigating risks concerning people is no easy task. There are many steps businesses can take, however they must be thoroughly implemented and maintained to be successful.

Education and Awareness Campaigns

Business owners should look to provide user education and awareness campaigns surrounding the importance of cyber security. Whilst it would be unreasonable to expect everyone to become a cyber security expert, having a basic understanding of the risks and how they may present themselves could mean the difference between falling victim to a cyber-attack or someone spotting it before it becomes an issue. Work with your internal IT team and/or outsourced IT provider to figure out the best way to approach user education, in a way that works for your business and employees.

Test User Knowledge with Internal Phishing Campaigns

Following user education, be sure to test the knowledge of your employees with regular cyber security quizzes and other tests. You can now run internal phishing campaigns for a reasonable price, where fake potential threats are presented to users as they would be if they were the real deal!

Implement Technologies That Encourage Users to Think Before They Click

Although technology is something else to consider in implementing cyber security defenses, some solutions help employees to become more aware of risks and to think before they click. Unified Email Management Solution, Mimecast, is a great example of this with features such as URL protect.

Policy Implementation

Implement policies and procedures relating to cyber security. These could include a BYOD policy, email usage policy, acceptable usage policy and the list goes on. This helps the user to identify what is and is not acceptable and helps to increase awareness of cyber security threats. It also provides the business with assurances that disciplinary procedures can be undertaken should an employee not abide by the rules, particularly when this results in a cyber-attack.

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