The Role of Employee Training in Preventing Targeted Attacks

Employee training for cybersecurity should be an ongoing process. New attacks are constantly cropping up, and your employees need to think critically whenever they receive a link or are asked for login information.

Having an educated staff reduces risk and shows consumers and clients you care about cyber security.

1. Human error is a significant factor in cyberattacks

Although sophisticated hackers and AI-fueled cyberattacks tend to make the headlines, human negligence often poses the biggest cybersecurity threat. According to a 2020 report by IBM, human errors account for 95% of cybersecurity breaches. Employees could mistakenly email critical information to the incorrect person, neglect to secure their devices or use strong passwords, or disregard basic security standards.

These mistakes aren’t just embarrassing for businesses; they can also be costly. In addition to the direct financial costs, a data breach can damage a company’s reputation and lead to customer trust issues.

However, the good news is that many of these human errors can be prevented through training. Employees must be educated about the risks of using their workplace technology and taught best practices. It will help them recognize and avoid common mistakes, such as leaving a laptop on a train or sending confidential documents to the wrong person. In addition, training can teach them how to recognize phishing and social engineering attacks, which are among the most common types of cyberattacks.

2. Phishing

Phishing is one of the most common and dangerous types of attacks, and it can result in malware, data breaches, and substantial financial losses. Attackers use email, text messages, and phone calls to trick victims into downloading malicious attachments or sharing personal information such as passwords and login credentials. It leads to identity theft, ransomware attacks, and significant financial losses for individuals and businesses.

Cybersecurity education is essential because it only takes one employee to fall for a phishing scam. It can show employees how to protect their computers from cyberattacks and recognize the early warning signs of phishing scams. Additionally, companies need to be aware of the indicators of a targeted attack. Organizations must also put behavioral analytics to use if they want to strengthen security and keep these dangers from ever infiltrating the network.

Employees can use two-factor authentication (2FA) to secure applications and online accounts to reduce phishing incidents. This method requires users to enter a unique code generated by an authenticator app or website to log in, which makes it more difficult for hackers to gain access. Employees must also use strong passwords and avoid reusing the same password for multiple accounts.

3. Social engineering

A social engineering attack is a cyberattack that uses manipulative tactics to steal data or gain access to sensitive information. It exploits the attacker’s knowledge of a target, which can include personal details like a first car or the name of a pet, or an employer or university they worked for. It can also exploit a victim’s curiosity, sense of indebtedness, or conditioned responses to authority.

These attacks are carried out by people looking to gain trust, destroy reputations or make money. They may be hackers who use stolen information to break into a company or criminals who blackmail victims by offering to share sensitive videos.

Security teams can prevent social engineering attacks by educating employees and using software to identify suspicious behavior. A good example is the Exabeam SOC platform, which uses user and entity behavioral analytics (UEBA) to identify abnormal behavior and quickly react with automated incident response playbooks. This approach is more effective than traditional hardware or software defenses, which are often too late to stop an attack.

4. Malware

While malware plays a significant role in many cyberattacks, it is not the only way that hackers can breach your business. Employees are a significant entry point for attackers, so cybersecurity training should be crucial to your employees’ work experience. This training should cover all the major security topics, including email and internet usage, phishing, and malware. The training should also cover soft skills, such as communication and teamwork.

Training should be engaging and relevant to your employees’ day-to-day work activities. Short, interactive sessions should also be offered rather than lengthy PowerPoint presentations. It will help to reduce information leaking, improve engagement and morale, and make it easier for employees to remember critical training information.

Businesses know their staff can be a source of risk, with employee carelessness accounting for 48% of cybersecurity incidents. However, they only sometimes need to learn how to address this problem. Instead of relying on policies that cannot protect against every risk, they should focus on solutions that provide more visibility and centralized management of corporate networks combined with education for staff.

5. Ransomware

The use of ransomware has grown to be a significant driver for cyberattacks. The malware is effective at stealing and encrypting data, which requires payment to access it. The popularity of this method allows criminals to make a lot of money quickly.

Most ransomware is spread by phishing emails that look like legitimate work emails or services. They often contain a link or attachment that, when clicked, downloads the malware. Educating employees on the proper way to handle emails, and warning them against clicking suspicious links, can help prevent these attacks.

Other attacks involve social engineering and other reconnaissance activities. These can give attackers access to the corporate network, which they can subsequently use to infiltrate. This technique is known as dwelling and can sometimes last weeks or months, giving the attacker ample time to find valuable information to extort.

Final Words

Attackers may also target specific groups of companies based on their value. For example, they may target government agencies, banks, medical facilities, or law firms that can afford to pay a large sum for their data. It can cause much damage to these organizations, as they can only continue operating generally once their systems are back up and running.


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TDPel Media

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