How, as a layperson, can you assess your cybersecurity risk so you know how to budget for IT protection? I am often challenged to put this into perspective. This time, I’ll start with recent news ripped from the headlines. Jeff Bezos’ net worth in real-time today is $117 billion. Billion, with a “B”. His personal cell phone got hacked. Granted, it was by a wealthy foreign power, but still—I can only marvel at what his IT budget is, especially after a hack that close to him. I’m sure there are thousands of brilliant IT people who work for him and who counsel him. I’m sure they work ‘round the clock to keep all fronts defended, from Amazon sales to his space enterprises. But he got hacked, and it was because he opened something on his phone from somebody he knew. It was infected with malware.
Meanwhile, back in our neck of the woods in the USA, we face those same challenges daily, even if on a somewhat different scale. The most significant comparison is not monetary, however, but is the capacity for human error. Especially when we get emails that appear to be from someone we know, we tend to trust that their attachments are harmless. In our years of working in IT, Aptica has seen over and over that often the biggest security breaches come from the most innocent of actions made by the most trusting people.
Employee Cybersecurity Training Is A Company Benefit
For many in my generation, everything we know now about computers we were taught at work. As computers became more valuable in day-to-day business, employees were given more and more training on how to use Word, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint, and all the useful programs that were developing. Our children already know all that stuff by the time they start grammar school.
The most cutting-edge building block of effective work computer usage today is learning and implementing effective cybersecurity tactics. The kicker here is that it can’t be taught as “just for work” procedure. Our workdays don’t end at five o’clock like the good ol’ days anymore. We carry our instant work connection in our pockets and in our purses. Open most people’s smartphones and you will see multiple email accounts that include both personal and work addresses. The Bad Guys have learned how to exploit employees and their access to company networks. Smart for them. Devastating and costly for us.
Extend Your Protection: Train Your Employees
If a position in your company allows/requires access to your business network, those employees must be trained in how to recognize potential malware whether delivered to a personal or a business address. If their personal devices are breached, information that is stolen will include how to get into your proprietary business channels. Just like Jeff Bezos: I get an email, I recognize the sender, I click without thinking. Boom. Let’s just hope I have a plan for the recovery.
I’m grateful that my small IT consulting/managed services business may not be attractive to the unlawful interests of a foreign power, but I’m also aware of the enormous value of my data to other unlawful interests. That awareness is critical to my overall business plan. If you are wondering how to get started in understanding and implementing dynamic cybersecurity, or in how to begin Employee Cybersecurity Training, give us a call at Aptica. We are passionate about helping to secure your data, and about teaching you how to protect and defend your livelihood.
Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2101, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT management and support company has been serving small to medium-sized businesses for 19 years in the region that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.