With only days until the calendar rolls over to 2019, businesses across the country are, in their own ways, readying their New Years resolutions. What do most companies resolve to do better? Protect their brand from what could be its greatest cybersecurity threat – human error.

Not only are internal errors possible in cybersecurity, but they are also increasingly common. That’s especially true for small businesses. In fact, 61 percent of cyber attacks in 2016 were directed at small businesses, up from 53 percent the year before, costing them up to $148,000 per breach.

Free Yourself of Human Error

So, while it’s true there may be more attempted data breaches today than ever before, human error is the biggest reason why these attacks are successful. With that in mind, here are three human errors where a business is most vulnerable to cyber attack:

1) Failure to invest – When it comes to cybersecurity, the adage “you get what you pay for” really stands out. Too often small businesses fail to invest in the most updated software, or even the most qualified staff. These potential gaps in security leave a company vulnerable to a host of easy-to-avoid security breaches like a phishing attack. That’s where a link in an email leads the user to a dummy site for the purpose of stealing information.

2) Employees with a “click tic” – It should be a written rule in all employee manuals of the 21st century: don’t click on advertising. Ever! It could be malvertising. The way it works is like this: cyber attackers upload infected display ads using an ad network. The ads are then placed sites, targeting specific keywords and search criteria. Clicking on one of these ads will lead to downloaded malware. Again, stupid. But easily avoidable.

3) When social media goes south – Avoid rogue friend or application install requests. If you’re unfortunate enough to accept such an invitation, you’re often giving up a ton more access to your business’s social media account than you wanted. Also, it never hurts to change passwords regularly and not to share them with too many people.

Security Begins with Security Awareness

In addition to the internal employee shortcomings listed above, cybercriminals are dead set on innovative ways to dupe unsuspecting employees and vendors into revealing crucial confidential information. This becomes an external threat. Hackers prey on emotions by creating fear or urgency that cause the employee to fall into a well-planned trap.

At Sentribit, a leading cybersecurity solutions provider, our managed security awareness training includes:

  • Strategy development – align your organization’s training to your specific culture and goals
  • Collaborative planning – apply the strategy to appropriate assessments and training, and identifying reporting and metrics
  • Ongoing interaction – support continuous learning and development meeting with you regularly throughout your program
  • Regular measurement – access detailed, in-depth reports throughout your training

Additionally, Sentribit also offers an introductory cybersecurity maturity assessment. Learn the gaps where your organization is most susceptible to security threats and take the steps necessary to prevent an attack. The evaluation includes:

  • Cybersecurity Posture Review
  • Executive and Key Person Interviews
  • Data Collection and Analysis

Nobody’s Perfect

To be sure, in companies large and small, human errors are at some level, inevitable. We are, after all, “only human.” Or as Albert Einstein once quipped, “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”

But with the right tools and software, the right team leading the way, and with just a little bit of common sense, your business will be well on its way to reducing the risk of successful cyber attacks in 2019.

The tendency toward human error may be infinite. But your cybersecurity breaches don’t have to be.