A survey conducted by GetApp reports 43% of employees do not get regular data security training while 8% have never received any training at all. The report highlights the level of exposure businesses have towards cyberattacks such as ransomware.
This comes as cybersecurity remains one of the most challenging issues for small business owners. Small businesses bear 43% of the brunt of cyber-attacks, opening them up to huge liabilities. This includes business closure. Of those attacked, 60% will go out of business within six months.
Web-based attacks, social engineering and general malware are often the top three culprits of cyber-attacks among small businesses. As the techniques to exploit cybersecurity vulnerabilities continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, businesses need to bolster their security.
Using Employee Vulnerabilities to Launch Attacks
Among the areas where employees are routinely targeted include social engineering, the art of manipulating someone into divulging secret information. Through phishing attacks, hackers use social media and research to strike up a relationship with employees. They then exploit this relationship to gain their trust with the goal of eventually stealing the information they need. For example, getting a password might allow them to infiltrate a company’s cybersecurity architecture.
Very often unsuspecting employees are duped into providing scammers access to sensitive company data. Scammers typically investigate an individual or organization before carrying out attacks such as spear phishing or business email compromise (BEC). Phishing is the practice of sending e-mails appearing to come from a well-known organization asking recipients information such as credit card numbers, account numbers, or passwords.
However, only 27 % of companies provide social engineering awareness training for their employees according to the survey. And almost 75% of businesses are vulnerable, thus endangering customers’ records, employee data, intellectual property and more.
It goes without saying there is an urgent need for more robust cybersecurity.
A Need for a More Robust Cyber Security
Small businesses are as much of a cyberattack target as large enterprises. But investing in enterprise cybersecurity alone is not going to cut it. small businesses need to invest in regular training for their employees in order to fully address this threat. This will help in adding yet another layer of protection for the company’s sensitive data.
For this reason, it is important to assess the knowledge of your employees when it comes to cybersecurity. This is because more often than not, employees are the soft targets that scammers use to access your organization. With employees connected to the internet round the clock, businesses are more vulnerable than ever to attacks.
Regular and up-to-date training can help arm employees with the necessary tools to prevent attacks. Not only that, but it will also heighten the security of the company. If employees are equipped with the knowledge of the characteristics of cyberattacks, then they are more likely to avoid the pitfalls. In addition to training, companies should also empower employees to use good judgement and have a security mindset.
You can ensure your company and the people who work for you are up to date by regularly carrying out audits.
The Importance of Audits
You probably conduct a number of audits of your business to make sure you are on the right track. But in today’s digital ecosystem, it should also include the audit of your current cybersecurity policies.
A strong audit goes a long way in assessing the vulnerability of your business to cyberattacks. The audit can assess password policies, employees’ knowledge of phishing techniques, and adherence to security policies, to name but a few of the issues it can address.
Once the audit highlights the gaps, companies can bolster their security by providing tailored courses to address security issues. Moreover, training materials and learning management system software are available that are easy to use for small businesses.
Going forward, simple investments and regular training often can make a huge difference in strengthening a company’s cybersecurity.