The human factor, a fundamental element in cyber security systems

Awareness of cyber risks helps businesses limit and mitigate vulnerabilities and promote a cyber security culture at all company levels. While it is difficult to anticipate the numerous factors that can endanger networks and systems, investing in the human factor is essential when designing and executing efficient governance and risk mitigation measures.

Living in a society with unlimited access to information makes us vulnerable to a range of potential attacks. Even if companies adopt robust technologies, policies, and processes, employees may still lack awareness of important information and the tools requires to combat the rising number of attacks on their workplace. 

Although there can be several reasons for security breaches, the human factor still sits near the top of the list. Based on data presented at the inaugural Cyber Guru Channel Event, which SCAI Partners attended to raise awareness and promote cyber risk mitigation techniques, it was reported that the human factor remains the weakest link in companies despite effective technological, policy, and process implementations. As per the 2022 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 83% of incidents are attributed to human error, while the IBM Cyber Security Intelligence Index Report estimates this number at 95%. The figure sits at 57% in Italy. These numbers give us a good idea of how the absence of cyber security awareness can seriously jeopardise an entire organisational set-up and render security investments null and void.

A lack of situational awareness and training, boredom, and a lack of risk perception are all mistakes that can lead to vulnerabilities and security breaches, whether committed knowingly or not.

E-learning systems have been created to enhance cyber security awareness among all company employees, thereby improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the cyber security system. These systems utilise deductive learning to achieve this goal. 

An example of this is gamification, which can improve an individual’s ability to identify potential threats and adopt appropriate behaviours, ultimately improving a company’s overall security level. Customised solutions for human capital and learning within corporations, in addition to the use of uncomplicated and innovative methodologies, are essential components that improve security and protect business operations. Stimulating employee participation and motivation is important when devising effective awareness plans.

A senior management team that plays a proactive and exemplary role in promoting cyber security initiatives can encourage employees to adopt good practices and habits within a company. The involvement of senior management affects the importance of training plans in the eyes of employees.

It is important to promote security awareness and measure training results in order to understand the state of security and corporate awareness. By examining topics that require further study and focusing on long-term objectives, it is possible to determine the effectiveness of training and identify areas for improvement.

AI-driven experiential learning, which involves simulating attacks such as phishing, vishing, smishing, and ransomware can help employees gain experience and knowledge. This type of training involves an automated engine that uses AI algorithms to create realistic attack scenarios. By recognising potential attacks and being aware of errors, employees become the first line of defence for a company against cyber threats.

Through security awareness, companies can improve their ability to prevent cyber attacks and keep their systems and information protected. The advantages of cyber security awareness and governance are not limited to technology, but also involve the participation of individuals and the establishment of operational procedures that have a positive impact on business.

Scai Partners

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