As organizations continue to battle the onslaught of cybersecurity threats posed by criminally motivated hackers around the world, there has been a growing emphasis on strengthening internal security measures.

While advanced cybersecurity solutions continue to steal the limelight, one issue that needs addressing is the importance of ensuring your end users are not adding to your problems.

How Do End Users Impact Cybersecurity Threats?

Most CTOs know by now that your end-users greatly impact the level of cyber threats faced by your organization. In fact, a study by IBM reports that human error is the central cause behind 95% of cybersecurity breaches.

A study on global data breaches revealed that human errors costed organizations up to $3.5 million.  While the majority of such breaches remain inadvertent, they pave way for external threat actors to access the organizational servers and data repositories. From downloading infected attachments from fake emails to opening unchecked links – there are various ways human errors contribute to information technology security blunders.

One of the most prevalent cybersecurity threats that capitalize on human error is phishing. According to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigation Report, 32% of all data breaches could be traced back to phishing activity.


How To Protect Your Organization From Phishing

Additionally, a study conducted by Microsoft which reviewed 470 billion emails revealed that phishing attacks have grown exponentially in recent years – registering an astronomical 250% growth since 2006.

The growing threat requires organizations to take proactive measures. Here are some ways how you can protect your employees from falling prey to a phishing attack:

How To Avoid Phishing: 3 Red Flags That Signal A Phishing Attempt

While phishing emails are carefully drafted to mimic a real-time email, there are certain red flags that can be used to differentiate a genuine work email from one that is meant to pave access to sensitive data.

Spear-Phishing Email

One of the most common tactics is to send spear-phishing emails. According to Trend Micro, over 90% of all phishing emails in 2012 consisted of spear-phishing tactics. Hackers will try to emulate a senior authority in the organization and use scare tactics such as ‘better act now or’ followed by a consequence designed to scare you into conforming with the email.

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Communication about such red flags can educate employees on dealing with this threat in a better way.

Dubious Attachments Or Links In The Email

Another common phishing tactic is to include malware-infested attachments or links in an email and targeting the email to persuade users into clicking on the link or downloading that attachment.

These tactics can range from depicting important financial information to lucrative prizes and bonuses meant to lure people in this trap.

Emails That Ask For Confidential Information

Any email that asks for your social security number, credit card number or any other personally identifiable information should be verified before you proceed to reply to that email.

Like other methods, cyber criminals use lucrative promises to fool innocent employees into submitting personal information. That paves way for them to access the organization. Organizations should make sure employees are well aware of such tactics and deal with such emails with utmost precaution.

As the cybersecurity landscape continues to undergo monumental change, modern-day organizations must invest in cybersecurity awareness training for their employees. For added protection, they should seek advanced cybersecurity solutions, like Agio’s Phishing Protection to protect their data.

Backed with a machine-learning algorithm, Agio’s Phishing Protection provides a long term solution against what is arguably the biggest cybersecurity threat – phishing.

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