25/10/22 Expert opinion

How to Raise Employee Cybersecurity Awareness

Cybersecurity is becoming a major issue for organizations worldwide. With attacks becoming more frequent and more companies falling victim to cybercrimes, raising employee cybersecurity awareness in your organization and promoting better cybersecurity practices for your employees is more important than ever.

Related: Learn How to Raise Cybersecurity Awareness With Gamification

Why Is Cybersecurity a Priority?

Earlier this year, President Biden released an executive order to improve the nation’s cybersecurity as malicious cyber campaigns become increasingly persistent and sophisticated. The executive order focuses on galvanizing public and private efforts to identify, detect, deter, and protect against these threats.

Specific measures in the executive order reflect the recent cybersecurity crises we’ve seen, like cyber espionage campaigns. The incidents that these critical infrastructure providers faced remind us that the government has limited authorities to enact cybersecurity baselines. Managing these risks requires partnering with municipal owners of infrastructure facilities and the private sector.

There’s no doubt that cybersecurity is a pressing priority. The recent executive order signals two primary things:

1 – Creating stronger, safer systems that are more difficult for cybercriminals to attack. Modernizing cybersecurity is a significant part of the executive order; for example, implementing zero trust architecture. Going forward, the federal government encourages the market to build security into all of its software from the start.

2 – Calling for the goal of setting more agile and effective responses to cyberattacks. The executive order standardizes the methods of varying agencies so that they can respond to incidents together. IT providers now must report incidents and share the information about cyberattacks with government entities.

The Current State of Cybercrime: Why Cybersecurity Training Is Essential

The Current State of Cybercrime: Why Cybersecurity Training Is Essential

Cybersecurity threats are more of an issue than ever for businesses worldwide. Let’s discuss some cybersecurity facts to understand the current state of cybercrime and why raising awareness in your organization is so crucial.

  • The majority of cybersecurity breaches are due to human error. Around 85% of cybercrimes could have been prevented if organizations focused on raising awareness and providing training to prevent these threats.
  • Many small and medium-sized businesses haven’t adopted a cybersecurity mitigation plan. Almost half of all SMBs don’t have a cybersecurity defense plan in place. And with 43% of cyberattacks targeting these businesses, awareness and training has never been so crucial.
  • Phishing attacks account for over 80% of cybersecurity activity. Most phishing attacks are simple, and you can prevent people in your organization from falling for them with basic cybersecurity training routines. However, many companies fail to implement the proper training, leading to the loss of critical systems and information from these cybersecurity events.
  • By 2025, the annual cost of cybercrime attacks is projected to be over $10 trillion — that’s a 15% yearly growth. And without proper training in our organizations, that number will continue to grow.

Cybersecurity: Benefits and Threats

Cybersecurity provides many significant benefits for organizations when it comes to protecting their digital assets. These benefits include:

  • Protecting sensitive data from loss, deletion, or unauthorized access
  • Preventing embezzlement and financial fraud
  • Protecting the company’s intellectual property
  • Preventing cyber espionage (like the incidents that brought on the new executive order)
  • Improving customer confidence that their data is safe with you
  • Preventing fraud through financial transactions
  • Protecting against malware, ransomware, viruses, phishing attacks, etc.
  • Preventing hardware damage that can impact business operations and productivity
  • Protecting data from being exposed through theft, hacking, etc.
  • Preventing financial losses through cyberattacks

Cybersecurity: Benefits and Threats

Next, let’s discuss some common cyber threats that can target any organization:

  • Cyber espionage: One of the most significant cybersecurity threats right now, cyber espionage is where an attacker runs programs in the background of someone’s computer without their knowledge. Without cybersecurity best practices, it can go unnoticed for hundreds of days while cybercriminals capture sensitive information.
  • Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS): Even though it’s one of the oldest forms of malicious incidents, DDoS attacks flood online services to distribute malware, deny users access, or both.
  • Advanced persistent threat (APT): These attacks are difficult for businesses to detect and often aim to gain trade secrets or intellectual property to sell to an organization’s competitors. APTs also target sensitive information that cyberattackers can exploit for financial gain.
  • Network intrusions: A common cybercrime, network intrusions can happen in various ways, but they all have the same goal — gaining unauthorized access into a business’s network to steal assets like customer records, sensitive business information, etc.

The Increased Need for Cybersecurity

With the Ukrainian war, we’re seeing an even more increased need for cybersecurity training and protection. While these attacks have long been a threat to anyone using modern technology, they are also becoming a part of modern warfare. And Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has presented the world with possibly the most severe cybersecurity threat it’s ever seen.

Here’s what’s happening based on Accenture’s most recent report of cybersecurity incidents in the Russia-Ukraine crisis:

  • Cybercriminals started fake fundraisers to aid Ukraine, stealing cryptocurrency from people worldwide.

-Mass phishing emails went out across Ukraine, purported to come from government sources but instead led to a malicious website that installs backdoor programs like Cobalt Strike Beacon.

-NetBlocks suffered a massive cyberattack featuring sabotage and theft of both digital and physical assets.

  • Deepfake videos appeared across Ukraine showing false videos of President Zelensky.
  • Internet providers across Ukraine were targets, resulting in widespread outages.
  • The week of March 15, Ukraine’s SSCIP reported:
  • 60 cyberattacks against local entities, including government, utility, and commercial organizations
  • Fourteen different malware families were distributed across Ukrainian systems.
  • In early April, Viktor Zhora, a Ukrainian cybersecurity official, reported three times the number of cyberattacks compared to the same time period in 2021.
  • Ukrainian citizens were sent infected Excel files that contained a banking trojan designed to steal authentication data.

Related: Raise awareness about cybersecurity via a digital game

The Best Way to Promote Cybersecurity Awareness

The Best Way to Promote Cybersecurity Awareness

Preventing cyberattacks and optimizing cybersecurity is a massive issue for every organization. These attacks target companies from SMEs to large enterprises and end in costly repairs at best.

Despite the increase in cyberattacks, it is possible to avoid the majority of issues by promoting awareness and implementing cybersecurity training in your organization.

At Emeraude Escape, we help organizations implement interactive, fun solutions to help raise employee awareness and promote better cybersecurity to help optimize:

  • Mailbox security
  • Data protection
  • Computer security
  • Password optimization
  • Internet connection securite
  • Phishing, spam, and ransomware protection
  • GDPR compliance
  • Personal and professional use of best practices

Learn more about our gamified cybersecurity solutions and request your free demo today to see how we can help you raise employee awareness and protect your organization from cyberattacks.

Related: Gamification: Everything You Need to Know

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