How secure is your human-firewall?

by Fiona Frost

Fiona Frost | Business Development Manager at claireLOGIC

You may have heard of the term the ‘Human Firewall’, it’s a bit of a buzz word at the moment – but what does it mean?

As a company who specialises in protecting our clients’ businesses and data, a comprehensive layered approach is the best solution and this means we can easily see and actually report on the potentially devastating, or just plain annoying, attacks we stop. 

Unfortunately the hackers are gaining in sophistication and deliberately targeting the weakest link in your security, your team, the human gatekeepers of an organisation’s safety. 

Your organisation’s safety

Most businesses are aware of the importance of cyber security technology – but a lot of hackers exploit human nature to circumvent the technological security arms race.

A recent IBM report concluded that 95% of cyber security breaches were due to human error. Of these, half were due to an individual having inside access.

Where are the weaknesses in your human firewall?

We’ve all heard the saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and the same can be said about the human element in a business’ firewall. It will be as weak as your least-trained, or least-aware staff member. Bear in mind approximately 30% breaches come from within, if individual computers can be targeted, this can be the easiest way in to wreak havoc.

Another frightening statistic from Thames Valley Police is that the 5th largest cyber risk to businesses is simply due to not having a ‘leaving user policy’ properly implemented by your internal, or external, IT team. Put all of this together and you have the potential to come a cropper from the inside and the outside.

So whilst your tech firewalls are doing their bit, make sure ‘too good to be true’ emails or attachments aren’t opened. An attachment showing the bosses salary’s for example, as you never know what’s inside them, or what you may end up downloading or spreading through your network unwittingly,

Cyber security training your human firewall

Training your staff is a vital precaution that should be considered a must have. By making it part of onboarding new starters  – and as part of the induction process – it will be easier to maintain and become normal process. Regular cyber security awareness check-ins and top-up training sessions can then consolidate staff knowledge and understanding, and make your human firewall strong!

What’s should be included in the cyber security training?

Well, aside from a generous helping of common sense, training should be delivered based on the business type, what the staff do and what they are exposed to. There will be no ‘catch-all’ – but we can certainly advise on common pitfalls and things to look out for, on both the tech side and what to look out for in the workplace.

Doing a skills gap analysis and tailoring training to individual needs whilst covering universal topics will provide a good model that can be adapted as required, setting you up for a stronger human firewall against attacks.

Cyber security consultancy

Award-winning claireLOGIC can help. As well as understanding the root and brach technology that should be considered, we get the human factors too. We support our clients with cyber security training and data protection training – critical training which will ultimately give your team the understanding needed to help keep themselves, your business – and more importantly – your customer safe and secure.

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