What’s the most important thing when it comes to cybersecurity?
We’re not even going to make you wait until the end of this article to tell you; the most important component of cybersecurity is awareness.
You were expecting a plug for some new software or product weren’t you? While there’s lots of new and useful advances in technology that help to keep you and your sensitive information safe, awareness is still the most important component.
The truth is, human behavior is the one variable that security technology can’t account for, so you and those around you need to be ever vigilant when it comes to keeping information secure. This is what we call the “Human Factor.”
Here are some of the ways the “Human Factor” affects your secure information:
Your social media is a wealth of information when it comes to personal information about you. Not just in the things you post, but in all the little things you probably haven’t even thought about. You may think that you’re very discerning with the information you share, keeping private details off your page, but to a seasoned professional who knows what to look for, reading between the lines is easy.
An individual who wanted to learn just enough about you to be able to strike up a conversation with you and make you feel like you have enough things in common for you to let your guard down, can easily learn enough about you to do just that via your social media. When you post a photo of your new puppy, and talk about how much he reminds you of your childhood dog “Gizmo,” you’ve likely answered a security question that you’ve set up somewhere online. That photo of your new car at the dealership give lots of clues to your income level, not to mention it makes you easy to find in real life since we all know what you’re driving. Your kid’s selfie that probably doesn’t have the location information disabled lets everyone know where you live. Your vacation photos let everyone know your house is likely empty. That’s just a few basic examples of the information someone can glean about you without even trying, and anybody willing to take things a step further can find out a whole lot more.
We’ve all heard of phishing scams, where bad people pretend to be from a reputable place in order to get you to divulge information, but this behavior now goes far beyond your email inbox. With a little bit of information about you, and some knowledge about your behavior, it’s pretty easy to get people to give up information. Let’s say you go to the gym three days a week, and you always check-in on social media to keep yourself accountable. It’s Friday at the end of the month, and the gym calls you to get a new credit card number for the next month’s charges since your card expired. Do you check to see if that’s true? Do you even know what credit card you originally used? Do you just give up this information to avoid it disrupting your workout on Monday?
In an instance like this, where the “Human Factor” is high, your awareness is the only thing that’s going to protect you.
One of that scariest and most unpredictable aspects of the “Human Factor” is other people. Your spouse, your kids, your coworkers, your friends… All these people have a tremendous amount of information about you, and something seemingly so innocent can be dangerous in the wrong hands.
Let’s say you’re a high wealth individual, and you’ve been targeted by the bad guys and they want to learn everything they can to gain access to you. How confident are you that your neighbor wont say something about what time you leave for work, or who your lawncare company is? Are you sure your spouse wouldn’t let their guard down with a friendly stranger? Have you ever even had a conversation with your kids about the kinds of things they share?
it's a numbers game
Even the most diligent people have an off day, where the right circumstances line up just right and they let their guard down and fall for something they otherwise wouldn’t have. That’s the thing about the “Human Factor,” it has off days and makes errors in judgement. So, what’s the answer?
In addition to utilizing technology to the fullest of its ability, Social Engineering Awareness training is imperative. These programs merge the best practices of technology and human behavior, to create a new level of awareness for you and your team. This includes designing a protocol specific to your business and your personal life, because one always leaves the other vulnerable. This sort of training can be the difference between staying secure and making yourself vulnerable, and with the ever-changing landscape of cybercrime, continued awareness is always going to be the most important factor.
Single Point Technologies is a leading Managed Service and Security Provider in the Metro Detroit area. We excel in keeping our customers safe, secure, compliant, and operational. We monitor and defend against all the things that keep you up at night, so that you can focus on what’s most important, your business.
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