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What role do humans play in ensuring security?

Humans are the lifeblood of a business and it’s no different for a company’s security. Humans play an integral role in maintaining a company's overall security through its daily operations and they are one of the biggest vulnerabilities a company can have. About 66% of malware downloads occur because of phishing emails, which are emails designed to deceive users into clicking on malicious URLs or downloading malicious attachments. Investing in your company's human capital is probably the best thing you can do for your company’s overall security. Almost every company will do the basics of having security software installed on a machine but if your employees are not security conscious, you are still very vulnerable to having a data breach.

How does investing in your security staff ensure security?


The most obvious impact that humans have on a company’s security is through your cybersecurity staff. These are individuals that are responsible for monitoring your company's network, implementing your security controls, doing forensic investigations, helping you meet your compliance requirements, and more. Needless to say that without them you’re in no position to deal with any type of cyberattack. Despite this in 2021 about 61% of cybersecurity teams are understaffed. This is one of the biggest reasons for companies having a bad cybersecurity program is that they simply don’t have the manpower required to carry out all of the operations that they should.

How does security awareness ensure security for the company?


Outside of your security staff you still need to invest in overall security training for your company. As mentioned above your everyday employee is typically the biggest security vulnerability in your company and hackers know it. Social engineer, the psychological manipulation of people to perform malicious actions is the most popular type of cyberattack and it’s responsible for 70-90% of data breaches. Security awareness training is probably the single best investment that you make in protecting your company and the second is to invest in building out your cybersecurity team with more talent.

The importance of upper management support

Another important layer of protecting your company is having proper upper management support for your security team. Oftentimes the security team will need to work with or give instructions to multiple business units within the company to rectify or prevent data breaches. If the security team isn’t given authority and support by upper management they will not be taken seriously or will be unable to act when they need to. This is why people in management or executive positions within the company must support the security team so that they can effectively do their job. One way to get this support is to demonstrate the value of cybersecurity by quantifying the ROI, this way executives and upper management may be more likely to see the value in cybersecurity rather than just looking at it as another cost to the company.

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