The Human Factor in Cybersecurity: Kansas City Businesses Can’t Afford to Ignore It

Cybersecurity should be a top priority for businesses of all sizes, but many companies overlook the importance of the human factor in their security strategy. The truth is that employees are often the weakest link in a company’s cybersecurity defense, whether through ignorance, negligence, or malicious intent. Kansas City businesses can’t afford to ignore this issue, and here’s why.

Firstly, let’s consider the scope of the problem. According to a recent study by IBM, human error accounts for 95% of cybersecurity incidents. That’s right, almost all data breaches and other security incidents are caused by people making mistakes or intentionally circumventing security protocols. This can take many forms, from falling for phishing scams to using weak passwords to sharing sensitive information with unauthorized individuals.

The consequences of human error can be severe. A data breach can result in financial losses, reputational damage, and legal liability. In addition, businesses that handle sensitive data, such as healthcare providers or financial institutions, must comply with strict regulatory requirements for data security. A single security incident can put them at risk of fines, lawsuits, and loss of business. So, what can businesses do to address the human factor in cybersecurity? Here are some best practices to consider:

1. Implement security policies and procedures:

Develop clear policies and procedures for data access, use, and protection. Make sure all employees are trained on these policies and held accountable for following them. Regularly review and update security protocols to adapt to evolving threats and ensure ongoing effectiveness.

2. Provide cybersecurity training:

Educate employees on the latest cybersecurity threats and how to avoid them. This should include regular phishing simulations to test their awareness. Establish a feedback mechanism where employees can report suspicious activities or potential security breaches, therefore, also fostering a culture of active participation in maintaining a secure work environment.

3. Use access controls:

Limit access to sensitive data and systems to only those employees who need it. In addition, use multi-factor authentication to strengthen password security. Moreover, regularly monitor access logs and conduct periodic audits to ensure that access privileges are aligned with job responsibilities and promptly revoke access for employees who no longer require it.

4. Conduct background checks:

Perform background checks on all employees, especially those who will have access to sensitive data or systems. Verify the authenticity of provided credentials, including employment history and educational qualifications to mitigate potential risks associated with fraudulent information. Additionally, establish a process for ongoing monitoring of employees’ background to address any emerging concerns or changes that may impact their trustworthiness in handling sensitive information.

4. Foster a security culture:

Make cybersecurity a top priority across the organization. Additionally, encourage employees to report any suspicious activity and reward good security practices. Furthermore, regularly communicate and reinforce the importance of cybersecurity through internal campaigns, training sessions, and informational resources, actively engaging all employees in protecting company assets and maintaining a secure work environment.

In conclusion, the human factor in cybersecurity is a critical issue that Kansas City businesses cannot afford to ignore. By implementing best practices and educating employees, businesses can strengthen their security defenses and protect themselves from potentially devastating security incidents. Don’t wait until it’s too late to take action – start prioritizing cybersecurity today.

Who is Aspis?

Aspis is an IT professional services firm headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, specializing in cybersecurity and management consulting. Our values are Integrity, Community, and Diversity and our vision is to democratize cybersecurity.  We make enterprise cybersecurity solutions and professional services accessible to all sizes of organizations. This includes everything from medium-sized businesses to large Fortune 500 enterprises; non-profits; and municipal, state, and federal government agencies. Aspis is an Independent Small Business, Certified HUBZone Small Business Concern, Certified LGBT Business Enterprise, Self-Certified Small Disadvantaged Business, Certified Virginia Values Veterans, and Better Business Bureau accredit ted company.  To learn more about how we can help you with your IT needs check out our website and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram to stay up to date on cybersecurity news, company updates, and need-to-know tips.