Cybersecurity risks are a major concern for most organizations globally. Cyberattacks are often seen as threats from outside, but sometimes inadvertent actions from employees might collapse a company’s security defense. According to the study Psychology of Human Error, nearly 88% of data breach incidents are caused by employee mistakes. Around 50% of the employees stated that they are “very” or “pretty” certain they have made an error at work that could have led to security issues for their company.
By Rudra Srinivas, Senior Feature Writer, CISO MAG
Several organizations are concerned about the insider errors that cause accidental exposure of the company’s critical data. Here are the three most common yet risky employee actions that might expose your business to the risks of cyberattacks.
1. Clicking Unknown Links
Cybercriminals often lure employees with malicious URLs to automatically download malware and infect their devices. Attackers mostly leverage sophisticated phishing emails by mimicking an employee or a security admin from the same company.
How to Fix:
Ask your employees to be vigilant about what they click online as it could be malicious. Never click on suspicious links in emails, messages, and social media platforms received from unknown sources. Investigate the sender/resource before clicking any links.
2. Downloading Malware
Organizations may suffer severe security risks if a single employee unintentionally opens a weaponized email attachment that has malware embedded in it. Cybercriminals often use malicious email attachments that contain executable files which, if downloaded, installs malware into the targeted employee device or network. Attackers also send dangerous malware like Adware, Spyware, Banking Trojans, ransomware, and cryptocurrency miners that cause a severe impact to users and organizations.
How to Fix:
Always cross-check the sender source before opening/downloading any attachment in the email. The attachments might contain Trojans and viruses, which, if downloaded, cause enormous security issues.
3. Responding to Phishing Emails
A phishing attack is a common cyberthreat in which hackers target a particular employee or group of employees with fake websites and phony login pages to pilfer user credentials. In phishing attacks, threat actors often ask users to act immediately such as: “click on this link to reset your password” or “visit this site to recover your suspended account.” Once a user clicks/visits on the link, it redirects the user to a fake login page tricking the user into entering login credentials.
Read more: Five Phishing Baits to Know
How to Fix:
Never respond to suspicious emails. Look for spelling mistakes or errors in the email. Always enquire with your security team whenever you receive such kind of emails.
The only way to prevent employee errors is by enhancing their cyber behavior. Organizations must encourage employees to practice robust online security measures to avoid any cybersecurity mishap. Besides, make them use strong passwords and provide training to spot phishing emails and other security threats before they turn into potential data breaches or cyberattacks.
About the Author:
Read More from the author.