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Cybersecurity Awareness - Helping C-Suite Take A Proactive Cybersecurity Approach

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

The first and vital element to preventing cyber-attacks is training your employees. Since employees form the backbone of your business, investing in cybersecurity awareness will bring immense benefits. Read on to know more.

Cybersecurity is the searing subject of every industry since the elevation of data breaches, malware, ransomware, and phishing, jeopardy that awaits organizations in every sector, regardless of size. According to IBM, 94% of CxOs acknowledge that their enterprise will likely encounter an intense cybersecurity incident in the next two years, making cybersecurity awareness the need of the hour. But are you prepared?

According to the Verizon 2021 DBIR (Data Breach Investigations Report), minimizing human risks by adapting basic cyber hygiene practices has no distinct bearing as each organization undergoes a special flavor of a similar attack type. Thus, corporations should customize cybersecurity training and awareness programs and incorporate behavioral engineering to focus on cybersecurity awareness and adaptability among employees.

Lack of Cybersecurity Awareness Can Lead to the Multiple Risks

Subpar cybersecurity awareness inside the organizational structure acts as a catalyst for attacks. With sophisticated cyberattacks and threat actors that monitor their victims for months, it is vital to follow a cybersecurity awareness program to keep the organization safe from:

· Malicious Entry: Careless human errors allow threat actors to gain network entry or access to employee credentials and thus entry into the organization's network.

· Data Loss and Breaches: Loss of digital data, which may compromise business, proprietary, marketing, historical, consumer, and partner data. Accompanied by the financial burdens associated with data breaches, averaging $4.35 million in 2022.

· Ransomware Extortion: A denial of service to clients by threat actors that lock an organization's systems for ransom demands leading to organizations bleeding finances.

· Impending Fall: The tremors of cyberattacks followed by reputational damage, lawsuits, noncompliance and regulatory fines, loss of productivity, and mass employee resignations.

Typical Attacks Employees Should be Aware of

Any organization's digital services and platforms are mostly utilized by employees and users whom cyber criminals easily con. Cybersecurity awareness can efficiently help guard against the typical cyberattacks that users fall prey to, including:

1. Phishing: Phishing is a type of social engineering attack to steal users (e.g., employees) data where an attacker sends a malicious (e.g., fake, spoofed) email or message and tries to entice the employees to click on a fraudulent link or download an infected file. Stealing login credentials and confidential information, delivering malware and ransomware, and malicious botnets are cyberattacks targeted toward employees via phishing emails.

2. Fraud: Fraudulent emails, messages, or voice calls involving fake payment transactions, invoices, or fines create an urgency leading victims into financial traps.

3. Social Engineering: Social engineering attacks manipulate employees of an organization to gain entry into the system network for data theft, malware and ransomware deployment, and corporate espionage.

How Cybersecurity Awareness is the Key to a Strong Cyber Security Strategy.?

As per the research conducted by Osterman Research, Inc., employees who receive cybersecurity awareness training are significantly better at identifying security threats than those who have not been trained.

(Source: Osterman Research)

· Adequate cybersecurity awareness enables the workforce to assess each threat and embrace cyber-secure practices to keep organizations risk-free.

· Studies by ISACA and CMMI have indicated that robust cybersecurity culture within enterprises lead to better visibility, post-attack resilience, and reduced cyberattacks.

· The C-Suite should concentrate on developing the workforce's instincts to anticipate, report quickly, and respond to malicious intent nearing the enterprise infrastructure and network.

· The greater your employees know, the better they can serve as a robust defense mechanism for your organization, helping you become more proactive with your cybersecurity measures.

Essentially, here's how you can ingrain security awareness in your company:

· Define the optimal frequency for employee training: Today's threat landscape is highly dynamic, with threat actors continuing to develop newer and more sophisticated ways to plan their next cyber attack. Thus, employees need to be kept aware and trained accordingly on cyber hygiene. The training frequency should be optimal according to the industry you operate in. For instance, if you have most of its operations online, you may need to provide employee cybersecurity training more frequently.

· Appoint a security manager: The importance of a security manager in imparting cybersecurity knowledge to your staff cannot be overstated. A security manager isn't merely responsible for tackling the day-to-day cybersecurity challenges the organization may face but is equally responsible for ensuring employees do not fall victim to cyber-attacks.

· Partner with an e-learning platform: You can also partner with e-learning platforms that offer cybersecurity learning material on various topics. Many e-learning platforms allow you to tailor-make these courses or select them based on difficulty and proficiency levels. It is not only cost-effective but also a great way of educating employees at their convenience.

Final Words

Cybersecurity Awareness is the sword of the C-Suite, ready for a productive and secure future. Experts recommend that change commences at the top, and enhancing cybersecurity awareness to push a risk-aware culture across the enterprise is essential to secure the organization's assets because your people could be the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain or could be the strongest defense depending on how cyber-aware and well-trained they are in identifying and responding to early signs of an attack.

References

1. How cyber attacks work. (n.d.). Retrieved August 31, 2022, from Gov.UK website: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/information/how-cyber-attacks-work

2. Koziol, J. (2022a, March 16). Cybersecurity awareness: What it is and how to start. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from Forbes website: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business/what-is-cybersecurity-awareness/

3. Koziol, J. (2022b, August 9). Three steps to get your business cybersecurity-ready in 2022. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from Forbes website: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business/cybersecurity-readiness/

4. (2018). In-Security: See the latest cybersecurity threats. Retrieved August 31, 2022, Cisco: https://www.cisco.com/c/en_in/products/security/common-cyberattacks.html



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