The Human Element in Cybersecurity - Ascent Conference

The Human Element in Cybersecurity

The risk of human error is greater than ever in today’s enterprise environment. With a dramatic change in the working conditions of thousands of individuals now accessing office networks at home, the cybersecurity landscape has changed in rapid and unpredictable ways. With most data breaches occurring both in homes and companies caused by human error, how can CISOs overcome these challenges?

New Challenges in the Global Cybersecurity Landscape

A recent interview with the Director of the National Security Agency and Commander of U.S. Cyber Command Gen. Paul Nakasone highlighted the importance of updating national cybersecurity defenses. One facet of this approach is promoting awareness amongst individuals, agencies, and especially businesses. 

Nakasone mentioned that while our nation’s cyber-readiness has improved over the last few months, there is still a long way to go in ensuring public and private entities maintain an acceptable level of cyber risk. Specifically, more improvement needs to be made to protect networks and educate users both in and out of the office to decrease the considerable threat landscape facing businesses and consumers. 

So, while you’re thinking about the one organization you’re responsible for, realize it’s a much larger problem; your organization is just a piece of a significant global threat.

Security Challenges Our Organizations Now Face

On the one hand, flexible hybrid workspaces are a means to an end, ensuring employee safety during the pandemic. However, as more and more employees become fully vaccinated, the nature and role of hybrid workspaces are becoming more fluid.

Convenience is not without its drawbacks; the very nature of hybrid workspaces makes them vulnerable to an array of cybersecurity threats which can include: 

  • Weaker security controls and an increased spike in cyber attacks. With an increase of cloud-based systems used for remote work, hackers have now moved towards these adaptable systems, with a massive 630% increase in cloud service attacks in the first quarter of 2020.
  • Increases in Human Error.  Working at home can cause distractions that play a significant role in security issues, especially as many families grapple with lack of childcare, remote learning, and other issues that lead to a less-than-ideal remote working environment. Web-based phishing attacks take only one click to create a breach, becoming a heightened and effective method many cybercriminals use to target these individuals. An accidental misclick from a distracted user could cost your organization millions.

Developing a Plan to Mitigate the Risk of Human Error

Human error is an unavoidable issue. While it may not be something you can completely stop in your workplace, this risk can dramatically decrease with the proper education and training given to staff, as KnowBe4 discusses in their rich library of information and resources.

If you want to learn more about how to reduce your organization’s risk of human error in a time of vulnerability, make sure to join our upcoming Spotlight on Cybersecurity on January 12th, sponsored by KnowBe4 with key speakers including Co-Founder of Maxwell Rutul Dave, Data-Driven Defense Evangelist Roger Grimes, and Chief Trust Officer at Atlassian Adrian Ludwig.

Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

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