Keep the threat message simple for employees

Eoghan Daly, Director of Cybersecurity recently featured in The Irish Times Special Report on Cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity and defence have been of paramount importance to companies for many years now but with the advancement of technology in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) and hackers themselves coming up with more clever ways to breach security, it’s even more essential to protect against attacks.

With 95% of cyberattacks traced to human error, and 91% of ransomware attacks beginning with a spear phishing email it’s clear that educating employees about the dangers of cyberattacks is essential.

How can employees protect themselves?

Employees should be generally aware, in their professional and private life, of things to look out for in communications to keep themselves and their employer secure, says Eoghan. “Don’t give out personal information over the phone or email, don’t write down passwords on paper or in emails, and be suspicious of any communication that includes a time pressure to take an immediate action.

“Employees should also avoid sharing certain information online, for example, when they are on holiday or travelling, as this information can be exploited in cyberattacks.”

Company support is essential

The ownership or preventing cyberattacks falls with the organisation and their focus on supporting employees to be able to detect and act safely against a cyberattack.

Eoghan advises that organisations should ensure the right tools and technologies are in place to maintain security, and then provide clear and easily understood instructions to employees about how they should act to keep the organisation secure. “It is important that employees are offered practical advice that is easy to remember and follow. If employees are asked to do too much, or it is too complex, even the best employees will fail to adhere to everything at all times.”

Content adapted from The Irish Times.

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