Cybercrime is just like any other unregulated and illegal business avenue: solely driven by profit motive and the potential for success. And with more companies migrating online, cyberspace is getting increasingly populated by soft targets for cyber criminals and hacker groups. And their business is booming these days. The damages wreaked by cyber criminals are expected to exceed trillions of dollars, more than $6 trillion by 2021 to be precise.Cyber crime has become a permanent fixture of daily news these days. From Petya to WannaCry, to the infamous Shadow Brokers' hack into the NSA, and countless other smaller incidents all point towards a trend of ever increasing threat, and constantly evolving cyber criminals. Individuals, business, and governments have all become easy targets.
Why Encryption & Security Software Alone Is Not Enough
At present, there can be no debate about the need for adequate cyber safety infrastructure and investment by business organizations. They are especially vulnerable to security breaches and ransomware attacks by cyber criminals. But what is the point in spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in building up cyber walls, if the workforce is not trained how to handle the keys safely?
The human element is at the core of any well-designed cyber security system. An untrained employee accidentally clicking a link is all that is required for an organization's security to be compromised. Here is a list of some standard security measures that all business organizations need to adopt, and the vulnerabilities in them related to the workforce:
- Whitelisting programs and apps: the inclusion of a compromised or insecure app or program into the list by an employee can result in security breaches.
- OS Updates and Patches: Recent attacks have focused on bugs and vulnerabilities in the Windows OS, especially the older versions. Somebody postponing a vital security update can result in a successful ransomware attack.
- Restricted Privileges & Access: Employees with privileged access can pose a real threat, either knowingly or unknowingly. Such threats from within the organization are hard to spot unless the workforce as a whole is trained to perform constant internal checks.
- Social Media Access: Organizations these days have to maintain a presence on social media platforms. But these very networks can house potentially dangerous malware. Along with individual security protocols and modules, the employees also need to be educated about these potential threats.
The Concept of a “Safety Culture”
The OSHA has a definition for a culture of safety in the workplace, usually applicable in hazardous industries like chemicals and mining. It involves training and educational programs to build awareness among employees and create an environment that promotes safe behavior in the workplace.
The same concept is eminently applicable to the modern office with its constant connection to the cyber space. If employees can be dissuaded from indulging in risky online behavior, the vulnerability of the business networks to external as well as internal threats can be reduced significantly.
This is especially crucial in the case of smaller business, who often cannot afford to maintain dedicated teams of cyber security professionals to monitor their online safety defenses constantly. For such SMEs, employee awareness about online safety practices is often the first and only line of defense, along with security software and the latest updates and patches.
Why the CyberSAFE Training Program?
The CyberSAFE training program has the following advantages that make it an excellent choice for SMEs as well as larger corporate entities looking to boost their network safety infrastructure by developing a positive cyber safety culture among the workforce:
For all employees: When dealing with the rank file employees in any workplace, a training program that is oriented towards non-technical users is what is required. The average end-user is not equipped to handle sophisticated technical jargon and advanced principles of cyber networks and security. The CyberSAFE program is designed specifically to make it accessible to the average user, and not just IT professionals.
Engages & Educates: The course is an interactive learning experience, where the participants are encouraged to get themselves involved in the process through discussions and collaborations. The class is designed to deliver the lessons efficiently within a short span of time.
An ongoing process: Beyond the classroom, it also involves video lessons, learning through engagement on peer networks, and even involves ongoing assessments afterward to reinforce the lessons learned. The use of checklists and evaluations allow the employees to keep track of their progress after the class.
Certification: With the ability to assess common security risks found in office network environments, students who pass the course can mitigate these risks and improve workplace safety in their organizations. They become eligible for CyberSAFE Certification after successful completion of the course.
Remember, when it comes to CyberSAFE-ty, your company is only as secure as the weakest link. Where do you and your employee's fall in that chain? Are you educated? Are THEY educated? CyberSAFE-guard your business and your employees. The internet and technology is NOT going away. Learn to navigate it. CyberSAFE-ly.