The Top Five IT Security Risks of 2017 Threat One: End Users

Hello readers, We'd like to introduce you to our guest blogger - Shawn Pate, Senior Technical Advisor. He's been a part of the WorkSmart team for over 6 years, and he is an absolute expert in IT security. Here is part one of his mini series on the Top Five Security Threats that businesses will face in 2017.


It's an unfortunately common scenario—someone has downloaded and executed CryptoLocker, and now, half of the company’s data is encrypted. The backups are not working, and the CEO is contemplating paying the $40,000 it’s going to take to get the password to unencrypt the data. Now seems like a good time for the world’s most epic facepalm. 

It’s 2017—dodging cyber security threats is becoming more and more like the iconic spy scenes with the laser beams. But still, you (or someone like you) are responsible for your organization’s IT infrastructure. It can be challenging to get any new insight on developing IT security issues while managing the day-to-day of your department. Rest assured that you are not alone.

WorkSmart can help you through the quagmire of today's cyber security threats. Over the next couple of blog posts, I will go through what we see as five of the top security threats that your organization may face this year along with the steps needed to help thwart them.

 

2017’s Top 5 Threats to IT Security

  1. End Users
  2. Lack of Security Patching
  3. Lack of Security Software and Hardware
  4. Inadequate Backup Planning and Execution
  5. Stagnate IT Staff

 

THREAT 1: End Users

Why are end users a threat?

No disrespect intended to our end users in the metaphor I’m about to describe.  End users are basically the possum walking across the road. The possum isn’t aware that being in the middle of the road could destroy a $40,000 car—it’s not his fault. The onus lies on the driver to swerve around it. Recently, driver assistance technology has progressed enough that possum-avoidance-related accidents has reduced dramatically. IT is similar in that recent security technology developments will help keep you out of a ditch.

However, an even better solution is to teach the possum to stay out of the road.

End users click on just about anything that comes between them and 5:00 PM. It’s so common that end users often do not even know when they have done something catastrophic. So, how can we save ourselves?

How to Minimize End User Threats

Any IT Security Expert will tell you that end-user training is one of the best ways to prevent horrendous security breach events. Unfortunately, many companies only offer security training for end users during new hire onboarding. There is no ongoing or evolving training.

WorkSmart provides Training as a Service (TaaS) that is specifically designed to increase user’s acuity of common security threats, and modifies your network security training offering towards perpetual training for all employees over the course of their career. These programs are extremely affordable and are often welcomed by end users.

Perpetual security training that focuses on Company Policy, as well as threats like Phishing, Spear-Phishing, and Ransomware, has proven to make people much more aware of their IT surroundings. In WorkSmart’s program, random tests are sent to end users on an on-going basis, and they are alerted to any security missteps. Then, the user is given additional training to improve their security knowledge and prepare them to avoid real attacks.

You can teach an old possum new tricks it just takes the right training program.

 

And thus our journey ends for today. Over the next few posts we’ll cover the rest:

2017’s Top 5 Threats to IT Security

  1. End Users 
  2. Lack of Security Patching
  3. Lack of Security Software and Hardware
  4. Inadequate Backup Planning and Execution
  5. Stagnate IT Staff

 

Until next time, WorkSmart and our army of well-trained and charming IT experts are here to help.

 

Shawn Pate

 

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