If you have watched any sci-fi movie, you probably understand the perceived dangers of the digital world. Most of us are familiar with the concept of a helpful AI gone rogue. While digital dangers are real, it’s important to note that the people using the Internet pose a much bigger threat than a hostile AI takeover. And I’m not just talking about cybercriminals. Regular, everyday human error is what poses the most dangerous threat to your company’s cybersecurity.
To put it in perspective, the average American today has access to more than 10 Internet Connected Devices in their household. Most have at least 2 computers and 2 smartphones. Across the world, an estimated 30 billion+ devices connect to the Internet. We have gotten used to being connected to the internet, but so have hackers. They know how to take advantage of the mistakes we are capable of making.
Human Error in Practice
We have the potential to make a lot of cyber security related mistakes every day. Here are a few examples:
- If one of your employees is involved in a data breach and they happen to use the same password across all their accounts, that could give cybercriminals access to your whole network of data including employee W2’s and customer billing information.
- If just one person isn’t paying enough attention to their email and falls for a phishing scam, it could expose your company to a data breach or ransomware attack. Something like that could shut down your company for days or even weeks. Think about how much that could cost you in revenue and reputation.
- A less than thought out photo posted to social media with PII (Personal Identifiable Information) or PHI (Personal Health Information) visible in frame could lead to a data breach or a HIPAA violation. You don’t want a poorly timed selfie to be the reason you have to deal with an onslaught of lawsuits.
- Something as simple as a lost phone could be fatal if that employee used their personal phone for work. A hacker could use that hardware to break into your integral systems that hold employee and customer data. Not as easy to fix as a trip to Best Buy.
- If an employee forgets to lock their device when they step away to perform a duty, anyone can walk up to it and access the information on it and cause a breach.
- If one of your employees is set up with an email but doesn’t update it from the default password to something secure, it is highly susceptible to compromise. If compromised, it could be used to access other accounts or sensitive information. Once an employee’s email has been hacked, it is significantly easier for them to trick other employee’s into falling for a scam and causing a bigger breach of information.
- Thoughtlessly allowing notifications or permissions for a website could lead to a Chrome hi-jack, where a popup window from your browser takes over your screen and locks up your keyboard and mouse. Even safe sites can sometimes be compromised and have bad links or pop-ups. If an employee doesn’t realize this is a scam and calls the number on a chrome hijack page, it could lead to a severe breach.
All these missteps are unintentional, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t plan ahead for them. The scary thing is that this is just a short list of some of the many possible ways that human error could lead to a breach. Cyber criminals know that their best bet to steal your information is through your employees and they aim to take advantage of it every single day.
Combatting Human Error
Make sure that you give your staff proper cybersecurity training regularly and make your digital policies well-known. Be an active participant in reducing human error and making sure no one falls for scams. Cybersecurity is a multifaceted and complex process, but educating your employees can be simple and easy. Regular reminders and trainings can help enforce a mindset of caution and keep employees from making simple mistakes. The hardest part may be knowing where to start.
Luckily for you, this Cybersecurity Awareness Month we’ve got you covered. . This month we are offering a $750 Cybersecurity Training for FREE to businesses. We will also be posting a daily tip each day on how to stay safe. Contact our office to schedule a training. We’ll help you learn simple steps that will put you on a path to less human error and stronger cybersecurity! Couldn’t be simpler, right?