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Companies spend massive amounts on cybersecurity. But are all of these investments just a waste? Research shows that current cyber threats can’t just be tackled by IT security. Nowadays, cybercriminals target your workforce rather than your anti-virus. With success. Time to build a human firewall.
Today’s business leaders need to realize that classic, anti-virus software can’t protect their businesses from emerging threats. Like spear phishing, nor is that good ol’ firewall a clear line between clean and dirty networks anymore. Wired took it a step further, stating that a vast majority of security experts no longer even uses anti-virus software. Main reason: cyber criminals will find cunning, new ways to bypass it anyway.
If you truly want to stop cyber criminals from waltzing through your company’s firewall and wreak havoc, you need to stop spending on the next big thing in IT security. You rather start investing in a security-conscious workplace – aka a “human firewall”. Avoid successful cyberattacks by teaching your employees to think like security professionals. Let them become cautious enough to think twice before acting.
To build a powerful human firewall, you need to increase the awareness of employees. It has to raise to such an extent that they become a solid line of defense against cyber threats. Building a human firewall, however, is more than just providing a one-time security training. For it to truly be effective, security training must be a continuous process, not just a check-box chore. Just like an actual wall, your human firewall should be constructed brick by brick. Educating your workforce on (new) cyber threats by publicly sharing small chunks of useful information on a regular basis. This ensures that employees will be more aware of cyber threats and stop being the weakest link in your organization.
But how do you keep your staff continuously informed about new risks and threats without sacrificing productivity? Studies have shown that continuous training is much more effective than a one-off training session. However, taking employees away from their workstations each time to follow a new training course is not an option. In our office, we inform employees by means of narrowcasting screens, a company app, and even a screensaver. While walking to the coffee corner, employees receive a reminder via a television screen next to the coffee machine. When a colleague has not touched his computer for a while, a screensaver with prevention tips pops up automatically. Scrolling through the company app at lunch? You guessed it, a reminder.
In short, exactly how you reach your employees is completely up to you, as long as you keep repeating your message over and over again! In this blog, you can read more about how to implement a human firewall.
IT-specialist Richard Renkens has been with Netpresenter for well over a decade. Besides solving IT-related mysteries, Richard likes to blow off steam on his mountain bike.