Advances in Information technology occur every day with an enormous amount of Internet consumption across the globe. As technology such as mobile devices, computers, laptops, tablets, etc., is turning out to be smart (i.e., connected to the internet), it is difficult nowadays to stay away. The increased demand, as well as ease of technology consumption for day to day life activities such as education, health industry, as well as MNC’s, has enhanced internet usage across the globe. People worldwide are using the internet, but many of them are not aware of how to safely use the internet and thus, end up providing their sensitive information to the attackers. Even though the enterprises nowadays employ most of the security monitoring and detection practices and tools in place to safeguard their organization still every effort of the organization can go in vain if their employees are not aware of the common tactics and techniques that the attackers use to gain confidential information from them just by gaining their trust.
Once an employee has been tricked into revealing sensitive information such as password, OTP, etc., the attacker will no longer be an external agent. Instead, he will be a legitimate employee trying to gain access to the network. So, the weakest link in cybersecurity is human error, which has no cure but awareness. Everyone in an organization is a threat. Even the most tech-savvy person cannot resist clicking a link that seems to be legitimate to him. So even after spending millions of dollars, organizations are still vulnerable to attacks. Organizations try to deal with security-related problems by implementing various cybersecurity solutions without focusing on human-related errors. So, there is a need to fix the human risk by changing employee behavior and making it more security-centric and incorporate a security mindset in everyday activities.
Why do Attackers target Employees?
1) For obtaining access to sensitive information- An attacker can gain an employee’s trust and gain the confidential and sensitive information of the employee such as password, OTP, etc.
2) For gaining financial benefit- Nowadays, most attacks are occurring to gain monetary benefit. Most of the ransomware attacks on organizations are occurring due to the same reason.
3) To damage an organization’s reputation- Sometimes, the competitive companies may try to defame other companies by conducting a cyber-attack on them to harm their reputation and due to which the customers lose their trust in the organization.
Security Awareness practices
Prevention is better than cure, so it is better to prevent ourselves from any kinds of attack before it is too late, so there need to be certain security measures that need to be in place to keep our information confidential-
VPN: Virtual Private Network should always secure our information online and keep our user information private.
Browsers and Extensions: To keep our internet activity secure, we should use a certain browser type, which helps us keep anonymous.
Antivirus- One should always use antivirus to avoid being attacked by the most common types of attacks.
Device Encryption: One should always encrypt their devices so that, even after one is attacked, their information remains secure.
Phishing Protection: Employees should be aware of not clicking on an anonymous link sent by any legitimate person.
Protection Against the Insider Threat: An insider threat is basically the threat posed by individuals within an organization. There are two types of insider threat in an organization- malicious and negligent. Malicious insider threats can be employees who share the organization’s confidential information. Negligent threats can be the employees committing errors by mistake by unknowingly clicking the links or sharing the data on devices that are not secure. So, protection from insider threats can only be achieved by providing cybersecurity awareness training to the employees.