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The Human Element

With regard to technology, the Human Race is in an actual race to have the latest products and solutions integrated into our lives.

We will stand in line for hours to be the first to have a new phone when it is released.  Camp out on Black Friday to get a good deal on electronics and smart devices.  We make it a priority to have the latest and greatest.  But why aren’t we integrating the latest or greatest habits into protecting ourselves?

Ignoring the human element in cybersecurity is a notion that must change.  We continue to put emphasis on prioritizing the technology and not the behaviors.

The Numbers

Humans account for 95% of cyber-attacks.  The average cost globally for a data breach is around $4.24 million USD.  According to the IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report in 2021, this is an increase from the previous year’s $3.86 million.  That doesn’t account for the trust that is lost or reputational damage that a business can suffer as a result of a compromise.

Remote work was a factor in the higher number of breaches.  The commonality among breaches occurred with that business structure in place. This doesn’t mean that remote work is the issue. Many successful businesses operate this way. It is because businesses forced into remote work unexpectedly with the pandemic were unprepared – and so was their team. This reinforces the need to give your employees not only guidance. Guidance in the form of training so that they can act responsibly and securely when not within the walls of an office building. We have training programs to prepare for fire drills or other disasters, why isn’t cybersecurity training in place when the risk of it occurring is far greater than these other situations?

Compromised credentials were responsible for 20% of these breaches.  These credentials link to a human and their account. Humans need to be empowered to strengthen the firewall that protects the businesses that they work for.

Everyone Onboard

How do we get businesses to make human behavior a part of the solution?  As with most ideologies, it starts at the top. Management must be on board to not only preach but also practice.  Knowing the value of ongoing training to keep their employees prepared. When it comes to keeping their businesses safe, it is essential to recognize that the human element can be their greatest asset and not their greatest detriment.