Why User Education is #1 in Cyber Resilience

Why User Education is #1 in Cyber Resilience

It’s no secret that the internet is a dangerous place. And that’s why businesses have to put maximum effort and care into their cyber resilience plans. Getting things right can mean preventing a successful cyber attack – and getting things wrong can lead to disaster.

But what many businesses don’t seem to realize is that the key to cyber resilience isn’t sophisticated security technology. It’s cybersecurity user education. And without it, every other cybersecurity effort is doomed to fail. Here’s why and what businesses should be doing about it.

Most Cyber Attacks Include a Human Element

The fact is, finding ways to hack into protected systems isn’t very easy. That’s why hackers almost always begin an attempt to penetrate a target by looking to exploit its weakest link – its users. That’s why, according to the latest available data, 85% of all successful breaches involve a human element.

And there are a variety of ways hackers target users. They might send a spoofed email in an attempt to trick a user into divulging their system credentials. They might also lead a user to an infected webpage that downloads malware or ransomware into their system. Or, they might even try to trick a user into plugging in an infected USB drive as a means of gaining unauthorized entry to a system.

Proper User Education is the Best Defense

The reason hackers rely on the methods above is that they’re stunningly effective. And that’s because most businesses neglect to place a high priority on user education as a key component of their cyber resilience strategy. But there’s a simple fix for that.

All businesses can and should elevate the importance of user education to defend themselves against cyber attacks. The simple act of raising employee awareness of common attack tactics can turn every worker into an active participant in the company’s cyber defense strategy. And by focusing on some key concepts, it’s easy to turn a traditional weakness into a strength.

Where to Begin

At a minimum, a proper cybersecurity user education effort should try to teach employees how to spot common hacker tactics and what their role is in keeping systems safe. They should learn about:

  • Phishing and social engineering
  • Password standards and credential safeguarding
  • Physical and device security
  • User rights and responsibilities

With the right knowledge about these areas of focus, the odds of a successful cyberattack decrease dramatically.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, cybersecurity is mission-critical for modern businesses. And given what we know about the way most successful cyberattacks happen, they must step up their efforts at cybersecurity user education to avoid being victimized. And it’s not hard to do, so the sooner they get started, the safer they’ll be.

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