Cybersecurity is a Shared Responsibility

Cybersecurity is every employee’s responsibility, regardless of their position, title or tenure

Cybersecurity is every employee’s responsibility, regardless of their position, title or tenure.

Why?

Because hackers know unsuspecting employees are vulnerable targets for attacks.

A recent study by cyber firm McAfee found 43% of data breaches were caused by internal actors, and of those, 21% stemmed from unintentional actions.

Bad actors exploit a firm’s employees using a variety of techniques, including phishing and social engineering.

These techniques are successful because they can be hard for the victim to identify as attacks.

With phishing, a hacker sends an individual a normal-looking email that contains a harmful link. With social engineering, often times, a hacker pretends to be someone the recipient knows to gain access to confidential information.

Employees who work at call centers and other customer-facing roles are particularly vulnerable to these types of attacks because it is their job to interact with people outside their organizations.

But all employees can fall victim to an email purporting to be from their organization’s IT department, payroll office, or even the CEO that asks them to click an internal link or download an attachment.

The bottom line?

Every employee at every level of an organization shares responsibility for cybersecurity.

Businesses can teach this responsibility to its workforce through recurring, mandatory trainings on the latest cybersecurity threats and how to identify and report them. Firms should also promote a culture of security by rewarding employees who take adequate steps to protect their digital environment from their mobile device to the company network.

If firms don’t teach cybersecurity as a shared responsibility, the consequences can be costly and far-reaching.   

A recent report from IBM found the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. in 2019 is $8.9 million.

Companies will never be completely safe from cyber threats. But they can better mitigate them when all employees share in the effort to keep bad actors out.

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