Which employees are most likely to be targeted by a cyberattack, and how can you protect them?

August 16th, 2021
Which employees are most likely to be targeted by a cyberattack, and how can you protect them?

It’s true: cybercriminals are after your data. But unlike what most people may think, hackers do not spend their day writing codes and trying to break into your systems. Instead, they focus their efforts on going after the weakest link in your cybersecurity defense: your employees.

Your staff may connect to an unsecure network, lose a device, or unknowingly click on a phishing link. With all the ways human error can be exploited, it can even be considered the biggest threat to businesses in 2021. Some of your employees are also more likely to be vulnerable to cyberattacks than others. But how do you know which individuals to keep an eye on to ensure data security?

Profiling employee vulnerability to cyberattacks

Recognizing who in your organization is most at risk of being targeted by a cyberattack is critical in preventing data breaches. By identifying the most targeted individuals, you can implement the tightest security measures and policies for these specific users.

But because targets are ever-changing and could vary depending on the industry a business is in, assessing employee vulnerability to cyberattacks can be quite challenging. Fortunately, while it’s not always easy to predict who will be picked by cybercriminals, various researches have found that the following people in an organization are the most likely targets:

  • C-level executives, as they have access to classified information and the power to sign off wire transfers without secondary approval
  • Employees who handle or move money, such as those in charge of procurement or vendor payment
  • Staff who have public contact details across corporate websites, social media, or other sites that can easily be found via a search engine
  • Remote workers who are prone to connecting to unsecured networks or may not install patches as soon as these come out

Protecting your most vulnerable employees

According to Proofpoint, more than 99% of cyberattacks rely on human interaction to succeed. It only takes one click from an unsuspecting user to cause a data breach, so cybercriminals are kicking their game up a notch and dishing hard-to-resist subject lines, legitimate-looking email addresses, and believable personas to lure victims.

Doing the following can protect your employees who are likely to be targeted by malicious actors:

1. Conduct regular cybersecurity awareness training – Workers who have not received any training on how to spot social engineering scams are more likely to fall for them than those who have been taught how to identify and handle one. This is why it’s important to incorporate cybersecurity into your company culture. Include data protection topics during onboarding, regularly hold training sessions on how to strengthen cybersecurity, and reward those who demonstrate good cybersecurity behavior.

2. Implement a Secure Email Gateway (SEG)SEG security solutions block the delivery of spam and other unwanted emails such as those that contain malware, phishing scams, or fraudulent content. SEGs accurately detect and block threats by actively analyzing URLs, attachments, and other email components, thus ensuring that only safe messages can reach end users. Some SEGs also have threat intelligence features, which allow IT administrators to uncover who is behind an attack and how an attack is being carried out.

3. Secure the authentication process – Passwords alone are no longer enough to keep your systems safe — not when a simple brute force attack can crack them in seconds. Rather, enable multifactor authentication, which requires another layer of verification on top of passwords to confirm user identity. This additional layer is much more difficult to fake as it is unique to an individual, such as their biometric data or a one-time code sent to their registered device.

4. Partner with a security expert – Cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated, so it pays to have a cybersecurity expert on your side to strengthen your defenses, mitigate damage, and secure backups. Having a team that focuses solely on security can also make your internal IT staff’s workload lighter, allowing the latter to address immediate day-to-day concerns, such as optimizing and maintaining your systems.

Let HERO Managed Services LLC handle your cybersecurity needs, so you can grow your business without worrying about a data breach. Our seasoned IT specialists are always ready to give you a hand in improving your cybersecurity posture. Schedule your FREE IT consultation now.

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