What is the Weakest Link in Cybersecurity, and How Do We Deal With It?

According to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report – “82% of breaches involved the Human Element, including Social Attacks, Errors and Misuse”. The weakest link in Cybersecurity has always been and remains to be Humans. There are so many reasons why Humans are imperfect, and this has caused gaps in Cybersecurity.

Here are some ways to minimize human error cybersecurity incidents within your organization.

  • Pre-employment Background Checking – is an essential step for your company’s security to ensure that candidates being hired are with integrity and no criminal history.  Background checks could help prevent possible insider threats from ever being hired in your company.

  • Security Awareness Training – is a strategic program to make employees aware of their role to in securing the organization. It helps users understand the impact of a data breach by understanding the threats, and risks due to the misuse, and loss of data.

  • Phishing and Social Engineering Tests – is an exercise to ensure that the security awareness training is effective towards the organization. It helps identify high risk users, that needs to be provided with additional security awareness training.

  • Automation – is a process that is automatically executed by a system that may help prevent and reduce user errors on repeated tasks which often times cause improper disclosure of data.

  • Call Authentication – is an automated system process that helps verify an authorized caller that can help eliminate impersonators trying to social engineer and get data from a user.

  • Email Security – is a technique that helps protect users from compromising their email accounts due to the widespread of malware, phishing, and spam. It helps prevent users from clicking on email links and preventing file downloads.

  • Password Policy and Requirements – is a key step in following industry best practices towards passwords to prevent credentials from being compromised. It includes, password length, password history, password managers, etc.

  • Machine Hardening – is a method of ensuring that best practice is followed including but not limited to: disabling USB drives, complete system updates, use of EDR, disable unused ports, disable ability to install applications that are not part of the organization’s whitelist.

  • Mobile Protection – helps secure information transmitted or stored through a mobile device. This includes password protection, mobile device encryption, BYOD, application control, etc.

Cybercriminals continue to target humans based on their vulnerability and unpredictability. This is also the primary reason as to why humans are always highlighted to be the weakest link in cybersecurity. Mistakes are made accidentally and deliberately by humans. We can learn from those mistakes and avoid repeating them to ensure no future incidents occur. Your organization’s security posture may grow and improve from the lessons brought by the weakest link in cybersecurity.