Know How to Avoid Cyber attacks by Minimizing Human Error

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, damages brought about by cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021.

A common finding in studies conducted by different parties reveals that majority of cyberattacks on businesses can be traced back to human error. In fact, according to London-based consultancy, Wills Towers Watson, 66% of 2016 cyber breaches were caused by “employee negligence or malfeasance.”

In the U.S., government agencies were asked who they see as the main threat to cybersecurity and 100% of government entities reported that their own employees are the biggest threat to security. Perhaps this is because 57% of security incidents in government were caused by human error.

Cybersecurity, therefore, does not only involve investing in state-of-the-art computer systems, it also entails training your workforce.

How can you make your workforce more secure?

1.    Company executives should be willing to implement necessary changes

Improving a company’s security efforts will require funding – from consultation with cybersecurity experts, purchasing necessary software and hardware to training employees. To do this, it is important to have executives who believe in this cause and who will help actively implement improvement in cybersecurity.

2.    Develop a culture of cyber awareness within the organization

All employees of an organization should be well-informed in matters regarding cybersecurity. It is imperative, therefore, to begin training employees during onboarding. Better processes should be developed and a checklist of best cybersecurity practices should be created and enforced. It is also important to perform regular evaluations to make sure that all members of the workforce are putting into practice all necessary security measures.

You need to have an incident response plan in place in case of data breaches. Your employees should be trained on how to recognize a cyberattack and what they should do next when they identify an attack.

To ensure that all necessary steps for an effective strategy plan will take place, each department should have a cybersecurity advocate who will oversee all matters pertaining to systems security.

3.    Use cybersecurity tools to help train your workforce

There are different kinds of security software available in the market. You can choose which software is a good fit for your business.  It is important to note, however, that no single cybersecurity tool can do everything to protect your system. Each tool plays a role in your cybersecurity strategy. The function of each tool will be determined by the organization’s specific needs and these need to be integrated in order to enforce the strategy successfully.

For example, many companies use firewalls, anti-virus software, email-based security tools, wireless network security appliances and an Intrusion Detection System (IDS). Each tool performs specific functions but unless they are integrated, the impact on the organization’s overall security will be limited.

When these security tools are integrated, train your employees on how to use them and try to test them periodically so that, any cybersecurity issues concerning your workforce may be addressed early.

4.    Offer incentives to employees who detect cyber security threats

Incentives are a great way of keeping employees more conscious of looking for possible threats as well as becoming more careful with sensitive data that they are handling. Rewards in cash and other forms have been proven to be effective in improving employee productivity as well.

David Cox, CEO of LiquidVPN, a VPN supplier rewards employees that have shown a high level of situational awareness with an Amazon gift certificate, dinner for two or tickets to a game. On the other hand, if an employee will show poor cybersecurity performance, the company is prepared to let him or her go. So far, according to Cox, that has not happened yet.


In his Essay On Criticism, Alexander Pope said, “To err is human, to forgive divine.” Unfortunately, this cannot be applied to costly cyberattacks brought on by human error. For example, a 2016 study conducted by IBM and Ponemon Institute showed that the average total cost of a data breach for 383 companies that participated in their research increased from $3.79 million in 2015 to $4 million in 2016.

It is important, however, that even if employees have contributed to data breaches, intentionally or not, they are also an organization’s greatest resource. It is just a matter of training them.

Organizations have to consult cybersecurity experts who can help train employees and implement proper security practices that will deter future security threats. Doing this can help prevent data loss as well as avoid costly lawsuits from clients.

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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from News and Views – Netswitch Technology Management authored by Press Release. Read the original post at: