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Consider the Human Factor in IT Security

Does anyone wonder if that unfortunate Nigerian prince that emailed you back in 2004 ever got his fortune with the help of a stranger’s bank account number? You might laugh at the thought of someone falling for this scheme, but social engineering is a major part of the human factor in IT security – one that the latest advances in cybersecurity technology can’t always defend against.

(FYI, people are still falling for the Nigerian prince scam.)

The role of the human factor in IT security should be the highest priority in your cybersecurity plan. In 2019 alone, half of all organizations in the U.S. were targeted by hackers who were able to successfully use phishing attacks and ransomware, according to Proofpoint’s annual State of the Fish report.

Proofpoint’s report uncovered a variety of unsafe habits employees and companies throughout the world need to break to reduce their chances of falling victim to a cybersecurity attack. Here are a few stats to keep you up at night:

  • 61 percent of U.S. workers allow friends and family to use their work devices: When your employees work remotely, there is no telling who is using company-issued devices away from your facility. You can train your workforce on best cybersecurity, but you probably aren’t training their kids or spouses.
  • 65 percent of U.S. organizations experienced a successful phishing attack last year: The report also showed that baby boomers best recognized the different types of social engineering attacks out there, so don’t assume any demographic is more security savvy than the others.
  • 63 percent of organizations punish users who regularly fall for phishing attacks: Some of these “punishments” include in-person follow-up training, counseling from a member of the infosec team, counseling from a manager, and mandatory computer-based training assignments.
  • 78 percent of organizations say security awareness training reduces phishing susceptibility: There’s no better way to reduce the risk of falling victim to a cybersecurity attack than training your staff in all the ways they can be duped by social engineering.

For the rest of your email security needs, you can rely on 2W Tech. We can help you implement active measures to help ensure email security is achieved. There are steps you can take as an organization such as creating strong passwords, changing passwords frequently, adjusting spam filters, to name just a few. 2W Tech is a technology service provider that specializes in security solutions and is a Microsoft Gold Partner. Give us a call today to get started in protecting your email, whether its Office 365 or another email.

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