As security threats become more sophisticated, it’s imperative for businesses of all sizes to have a robust, multi-layered security strategy in place. One important, yet often overlooked, part of your security posture is your team — otherwise known as your human firewall. Given that 88% of data breaches are caused by human error, we recommend ensuring your team is adequately prepared to handle any potential cyberattacks that may come their way.

The term “human firewall” refers to how well your team can secure your network. Like a firewall device or software protecting your network, your employees can be given the tools and knowledge to recognize and respond to cybersecurity threats. Since they are often the first line of defense, the human element if a vital component of your security posture. Continue reading to learn common threats to be aware of and how to strengthen your human firewall.

Threats to Your Human Firewall

There are several common threats to look out for when it comes to securing your team:

  1. Phishing: The most common type of social engineering that typically occurs through email or a malicious website. Attackers will try to solicit personal information by posing as a trustworthy organization, such as a financial company or even an employee.
  2. SMS Phishing: Like phishing, cybercriminals will use text messages to collect valuable information, request funds, or even distribute malware.
  3. Malware: A type of software that installs through fraudulent emails, social accounts, and/or websites. It’s intended to damage or disable computers to gain access to data.
  4. Untrained Employees/Human Error: If you have team members who are not aware of the unique cyber risks your organization may encounter, your business is more vulnerable. Human error is also a major risk to any organization, which can occur because of carelessness, lack of knowledge, or by simply clicking on a malicious link.
  5. Device Theft/Loss: With an increase in remote workplaces, the issue of hardware loss or theft should stay top of mind.

Tips to Strengthen Your Human Firewall

As we’ve established, the human firewall is a vital component to your overall security strategy. Simply put, Cyber Ready says it best — this means a “a team of dedicated employees who can recognize an attack on social media, prevent a crisis, and stop it in its tracks!” Here are a few ways to strengthen your human firewall:

  1. Establish Effective Cybersecurity Training: Educate and prepare your team with ongoing cybersecurity training that is specific to your organization’s unique risks and needs. Ongoing training is important as you hire new team members, stay updated on the latest cybersecurity threats, and ensure your team is confident in responding to them. Training will vary depending on your business needs — it may include reviewing the latest security trends for your company, running through practice social engineering scenarios, or evaluating your team’s knowledge through testing.
  2. Create Cybersecurity Policies: Once you have established a robust cybersecurity training program, it’s also important to have clear security policies in place. Policies will vary depending on your business but can include password policies, email security, and VPN usage. Employees should be incentivized and held accountable for following them.
  3. Use the Right Tools: Ensure your team is even more equipped to respond to cybersecurity threats with the right technology tools. These tools may include data protection software, anti-virus software, multi-factor authentication, and more. Similar to your cybersecurity training, the technology tools you use should be specific to your business needs.

Cybersecurity Assistance With TeamMIS

If you’re looking for a dedicated IT team to help keep your business secure, connect with TeamMIS. Not only do we offer a range of security services, we also provide cybersecurity education. We can educate and train your staff to improve your company’s security from the bottom up — through security awareness and training of best practices to testing and help desk support. Contact us today to see how we can help strengthen your security posture.