All staff members must have a keen eye open to cybersecurity risks that are dangerous to the company

Collecting antiques is an interesting and challenging hobby for many.  Activities that involve collecting, such as antiquing, require training, education, and research before the hobbyist begins to excel at the avocation.  Successful tactics for acquiring unique, sought-after artifacts, also apply to something far more modern and threatening today—cyberattacks and phishing emails.

Here are tips for becoming a master collector as well as an expert at spotting threats:

Understand both interest and risks

The antiquing hobbyist’s first task is to determine and identify their primary focus and interest (e.g., 60s era music memorabilia, baseball history, vintage computers, colonial furniture).  Once they hone in on that, they can pinpoint what they are looking for and focus their efforts.  Similarly, the business manager of today must recognize and identify what data and confidential information they have accessible on their computer network that might be valuable to an outside attacker.  Information like social security numbers, birthdates, passwords, email addresses, phone numbers, client information, and financial data all needs to be protected by both you and your staff.

Have a keen eye for value and risk

The antiquing hobbyist always has a keen eye out for an item of interest.  We’ve all probably heard of someone picking up an item for $5 at a garage sale that turned out to be worth hundreds of times that amount when in the right hands.  That occurs not because of any happy accident, but because the hobbyist is always aware and attentive to the chance that he or she might find that valuable piece.  In the same way, all staff members in today’s organizations need to have a similar level of diligence and a keen eye open to things that are hazardous or dangerous to the organization.

The market is always open for collecting and criminals

Aside from special “annual” shows that may occur at a large commercial space, there really is no special market for the collector.  In fact, the enthusiast often prefers to find that special item in an out-of-the-way place, during ordinary activities.  Likewise, those who inhabit the Dark Web and similar criminals are always “in the market” to grab valuable information from data networks.  The smart manager today does not put his or her head in the sand thinking no one is out to steal from them, because quite the opposite is true.  You are “the market” just by the pure fact that you are in business.  Do all you can to secure your business and your data.

We have found that organizations truly reduce their cybersecurity risks only by implementing an ongoing staff training and testing system focused on data security awareness.  There are numerous benefits.  First, the program costs are miniscule when compared to the ramifications of an attack.  The potential losses can be great, including a total business loss.  Second, attacks are on the rise, especially as staff are working remotely.  Third, an IBM analysis found that 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error.  Training and testing are therefore vital, especially as compliance requirements increasingly focus on employee training.

Everyone can be attacked, from the lowest to the highest levels of the organization.  Help your employees become experts at identifying cybersecurity risks…call IT Radix to get started with Employee Security Training and Testing today!

First published in our February 2021 IT Radix Resource newsletter