Your greatest cybersecurity risk: your employees

Cybercriminals work around the clock to detect and exploit vulnerabilities in your company’s network for malicious purposes. The only way to counter these hackers is to deploy a solid cybersecurity framework, built around comprehensive security solutions. However, while you’re doing that, you may be neglecting to mitigate the weakest link in your fight against cybercriminals: your employees.

As remote working gains ground and decentralized workspaces become the new norm, companies like yours need to strengthen their cybersecurity strategies to counter human error and data breaches perpetrated by malicious insiders. All employees, whatever their position or rank, can expose your company’s vulnerabilities to cybercriminals.

Implementing security awareness training for employees can help you prevent a vulnerability from degenerating into a catastrophe. As the first line of defense against cyber attacks, your employees need to be carefully and regularly trained to identify and defuse potential cyber threats.

Why do employees represent a risk for companies?

According to IBM’s 2020 Cost of a Data Breach report, 23% of data breaches within an organization are due to human error. There are many ways in which an untrained employee can compromise your company’s security. The most common mistakes made by employees include

  1. Being tricked by phishing scams: When COVID-19 first appeared, hackers posing as the World Health Organization (WHO) urged people to click on malicious links and share sensitive information. Cybercriminals use enhanced techniques, such as spoofed emails and text messages, to propagate the ongoing scam. Your employees need to be well trained to cope.
  2. Poor password hygiene: Some of your employees may reuse the same password or set of passwords for several accounts (business and personal), which is a dangerous habit that allows cybercriminals to breach the security of your company’s network.
  3. Delivery error: Even slight negligence can lead an employee to send sensitive and critical information to a hacker. Such an act can cause lasting damage to your business, so you need to be prepared to counter it.
  4. Ineffective patch management: Often, employees can delay the deployment of a security patch sent to their device, which can lead to holes in your company’s IT security that go uncorrected.  

Ultimately, with cybercriminals improving their arsenal every day and exploring a plethora of options to ensnare your employees, security awareness training has become more important than ever.

Safety awareness training: An essential investment

A one-size-fits-all training program won’t help your employees fend off cyberthreats, nor will it help your company develop a culture of security. To cope with growing threats, your employees need regular, in-depth security awareness training.

You should never give up on providing ongoing security awareness training for your employees just because of the time and money involved. The return on investment will be seen in the form of employees making better decisions and reacting effectively in the face of adversity, saving your company from data breaches, reputational damage and potentially costly lawsuits. The following statistics show why you should set up regular safety awareness training courses and consider them a necessary investment:

  • Eighty percent of organizations face at least one account compromise threat per month. 1
  • Sixty-seven percent of data breaches are the result of human error, stolen credentials or social attacks. 2
  • Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, phishing attacks have increased by 67%. 3

Expecting your employees to train themselves to detect and respond to cyber threats is certainly not the best way to deal with an ever-changing threat landscape. You must take responsibility for regularly training your employees to ensure they are adequately prepared to identify and repel potential cyber-attacks.

Every employee needs to realize that even a minor error can snowball into a major security disaster. They need to understand that your company’s cybersecurity is their responsibility too.

You can turn your company’s biggest cybersecurity risk – your employees – into its main defense against threats by developing a security culture that emphasizes adequate and regular security awareness training.

Implementing these measures will require ongoing effort and may seem difficult, but with the right partner on your side, you can easily integrate security awareness training into your company’s cybersecurity strategy. The first step towards training and empowering your employees starts with an e-mail. Feel free to contact us at any time.

Article written and used with the author’s permission.

Sources :

  1. McAfee Cloud Adoption & Risk Report
  2. Verizon 2020 report on data breach investigations
  3. Verizon Data Breach Digest security magazine


More Posts

vPenTest for SMEs: why and how?

vPenTest for SMEs: why and how? Introduction Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly targeted by computer attacks, leaving them vulnerable to serious threats such

Send us a message


About us

Receive the newsletter - Register here.
Reviewed on

9125 rue Pascal-Gagnon Suite 204 St-Léonard (Québec) H1P 1Z4

© 2024
AIKI Secure

Customer portal

Simplifying IT
for a complex world.
Platform partnerships