Rethinking Cybersecurity Awareness
The realm of cybersecurity awareness has seen a lot of positive developments lately. Organizations across all sectors and regions have realized, in particular, that committing to cybersecurity and cybersecurity awareness seriously is no longer just a choice, but a necessity. Despite this, there are still a significant number of breaches that are disclosed every year. Nobody anticipated how the COVID-19 outbreak would affect an Organisation’s security. Many Organisations had to reconsider their cybersecurity measures as their entire workforce shifted to remote employment. Cyberattacks rose by 63% just during the pandemic. The cybersecurity landscape has completely changed going forward, and many businesses are realizing that now is the time to take action to prevent breaches like the SolarWinds cyberattack in 2020.
Recently, Uber discovered a breach in its computer network, forcing the company to shut down several of its internal communications and engineering systems while it investigated the scope of the attack. A person claiming responsibility for the attack gave screenshots of emails, cloud storage, and code repositories to the cybersecurity experts and The New York Times, and it looked like many of Uber's internal systems had been infiltrated.
No matter how big or small a company is, it could be the target of a cyberattack. That is because every company has valuable resources (financial or otherwise) that cyber criminals might try to use against them. With the rise of internet connectivity and digitalization, cyberattacks have become more prevalent. Understanding the common reasons behind cyberattacks will help Organisations better understand the hazards they may encounter and how to deal with them.
Putting in place a number of technical controls intended to stop unauthorized access, and malicious activities, and recognize incoming attacks is the best method to protect your Organisation against these threats. Every breach that has been publicized in the last ten years has something intriguing if you look closely. At some point during the attack, almost all of them used phishing or another social engineering tactic. Why? Because generally speaking, tricking people is considerably simpler than tricking machines. Any normal human being who lacks cybersecurity awareness could easily end up in the trap.
No matter how effective technical protections are, they will not help if an attacker can fool a human into compromising a network. The difficult portion is already completed once an attacker enters the network using authentic credentials. There may be many technical safeguards in place to lessen the effects of a malicious email. Although that may be true, no matter how effective spam filters and content scanners are, they can never completely shield users' inboxes from harmful emails. The only way to move forward is to acknowledge the obvious fact that technology alone is insufficient.
Actually, security begins with the people. How secure a company is can be observed by the behavior of its employees. Employees should be aware of security risks through more and more effective awareness programs. This means that everyone in an Organisation should be aware of the cybersecurity risks they face and know how to mitigate them with the help of cybersecurity awareness. The more people who know about cybersecurity and cybersecurity awareness, the better protected our data will be.
In order to keep systems, networks, and programs safe from cyberattacks, Organisations should rethink cybersecurity awareness to ensure that they are able to protect themselves from the costly attacks the Organisation may face. Cybersecurity awareness is an ongoing process in which employee education and training is continuous process that teaches employees about the dangers that lurk in cyberspace, how to stop them, and what to do in the event of a security crisis. Additionally, it fosters in them a sense of proactive accountability for safeguarding the Organisational assets. Cybersecurity awareness is simply being aware of security hazards and taking precautions to minimize risks.
Understanding cybersecurity includes being aware of the most recent security threats, cybersecurity best practices, the risks associated with using the internet, sharing sensitive information online, and other activities. It ensures that you are able to continue running your business without any interruptions or downtime due to hacking attempts. For it to be most useful and effective, cybersecurity awareness must be an Organisational wide endeavor. As of today, phishing emerges as the one major threat to enterprises around the world.
One of the most frequent security issues that people and businesses encounter while trying to protect their information is phishing attempts. Phishing attempts are on the rise because they are easy to launch and often have high success rates. The problem with phishing is that it is very difficult to identify what is real and what is not. Hackers are using email, social media, phone calls, and every other means of contact they can to steal important data, whether they are gaining access to passwords, credit cards, or other sensitive information.
Phishing attacks include delivering false communications that seem to be from a reliable source. Email is typically used for this. There are many different types of phishing emails that look like they come from legitimate Organisations. This makes it hard for people to know which emails are safe and which ones are not. This is due to the fact that businesses make for especially worthwhile targets.
Similarly, Cyber attackers can be divided into two categories: those that pose risks to the Organisation from outside and those who do so from within.
Anyone having direct or indirect access to the Organisational assets put the Organisation at risk for cyberattack. For instance:
- Trusted personnel inadvertently lose data.
- Negligent personnel policies and procedures.
- Malevolent insiders have legal access to crucial systems and information.
- Dissatisfied employees or ex-employees intent on harming the Organisation.
External threats to cyber security can originate from a number of places, including:
- Organized crime or criminal Organisations.
- Professional hackers, whether they are hostile or not, are commonly referred to as "script kids."
As Cyberattack is a major issue in today's time with low rate if cybersecurity awareness, we can see attackers employ a number of different phishing methods, including, but not limited to:
- Embedding a link in an email that sends your employee to a risky website and asks for private information.
- Using a Trojan installed through a malicious email attachment or advertisement to exploit security flaws and steal personal data.
- Changing the sender address in an email to make it appear as if it is coming from a credible source and asking for sensitive information.
- Calling a recognized firm vendor or IT department and pretending to be someone else in order to get information from them.
Here are some measures as cybersecurity awareness that a business can take to safeguard itself from phishing:
- Inform your staff and hold training sessions using simulated phishing attacks.
- Install a SPAM filter that can identify malware, blank senders, and other threats.
- On all systems, keep up with the most recent security patches and updates.
- Install an antivirus program, set up signature updates, and keep an eye on its performance across the board.
- Create a security policy that addresses password complexity and expiration, among other things.
- Put in place a web filter to stop nefarious websites.
- Encrypt any and all confidential enterprise data.
- Disable HTML email messages or convert HTML emails to text-only emails.
- Telecommuting personnel should be subject to encryption requirements.
As we know, human behavior is a sensitive thing. Like software updates, it cannot be updated at once. It takes time. In order to withstand phishing, the business must adopt a strong security culture. The need for cybersecurity awareness is greater than ever in the World where everything is connected via the internet. Organizations of all sizes should accept the fact that threats are an inevitable part of conducting business and take proactive measures to defend themselves as the number of threats grows daily and becomes more sophisticated. Therefore, cybersecurity is a must that should begin with cybersecurity awareness and practically convert it into the behavior of people.