What is your organization doing to protect sensitive information from human error?
When you hear about data breaches in the media, the perpetrators are often painted as sophisticated hackers backed by deep pockets – but the reality is often quite different. Human error is actually the top cause of data breaches, responsible for 52% of incidents according to data from The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).
If human error is such a common cause of data breaches, what can companies do to prevent these types of incidents from happening on a regular basis? The answer lies in proper policies and training. Read on to learn several tactics to ensure that your organization is not only protected from data breaches from outside your company but from insider threats as well.
Tips to reduce internal data breaches
At CyberGuard360, we work with companies of all sizes and find that while many of them may have various cybersecurity tools in places, such as firewalls and antivirus protection, fewer have clear training and cybersecurity policies that mitigate data breaches caused by behavior on the part of their own employees. Below are just a few of the ways that companies can promote training to reduce cyber threats:
Provide detailed training surrounding phishing tactics
How phishing works may be common knowledge to some individuals, but many others are not well-versed in the tactic. If you’re not familiar with the term, phishing uses emails that seem to be sent from reputable parties to encourage individuals to provide personal information, such as logins, credit card information, account numbers, and other sensitive data.
Basic cyber awareness training should help employees identify phishing threats and illustrate to them the severe damage that can result from a successful attack. A report from PhishMe found that over 90% of cyber attacks start with some type of phishing incident, which shows just how critical training and evasion tactics are to prevent a breach.
Teach individuals to pay attention to email headers
If a user suspects he or she may be a target of a phishing attempt, it’s important to look at the email headers to see if the email is being sent from a legitimate email address based on the contents of the email. For example, if an email is being sent from a bank, both the ‘FROM’ and the ‘REPLY-TO’ addresses should also be from the bank that is purportedly sending the message. This is not always a 100% fail-safe way to spot a phishing attempt, but it’s worth looking at – because the reply email address of a phisher is often a personal email account that is not affiliated with the institution supposedly sending the email.
Outline strong password strategies
In many cases, individuals may create a strong password with a number of unique characters, but trouble arises when that same password is used across a large number of access points. This means that if a hacker gains access to this one password, they can instantly access all sorts of platforms and sensitive information. Train your employees to create memorable and unique passwords to avoid this situation from occurring. For additional security, organizations can look into enterprise password managers to increase convenience and ensure users are abiding by your password policies.
Stipulate that sensitive data can only be accessed through secure means
The rise of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies have complicated this directive in many organizations, but it’s still important to emphasize that certain types of data should only be accessed via a secure network and on secure devices. What constitutes secure access may vary based on the nature of specific data and the point of access, but work to identify and communicate clear guidelines for employees.
Create transparent and understandable cybersecurity policies
When you put together a set of cybersecurity policies, it’s important that they are readily available and are written in a way that they can be understood by all employees. These policies are often written by IT experts coupled with lawyers, which can make them hard for non-technical employees to digest. The last thing you want is for your employees to neglect to read these policies because they’re too difficult to comprehend.
Need help crafting effective cybersecurity policies for your organization?
If the process of coming up with effective cybersecurity policies is a challenge for your organization, it makes sense to work with a partner who is well-versed in both cyber security compliance and workable solutions. At CyberGuard360, we offer a full security suite to help take care of the technology aspect, plus the policies and procedures needed to protect your organization from human error.
To learn more about our cybersecurity services, reach out to our team today at 844-315-9882 or through our online contact form.