Elevate Security has recently shared a report revealing damaging trends in cybersecurity. This cybersecurity startup, founded by ex-Salesforce founders, revealed how employees in the United States utterly neglect cybersecurity-related concerns. These harmful trends in cybersecurity are an alarming sign for any business owner in the country.
The survey found and presented these 3 major data points:
- 30% of employees disregard their role in cybersecurity
- 22% do not believe cybersecurity is important in the workplace
- 61% would not likely report a security incident
The human factor persists as one of the main elements behind successful cyberattacks. This means businesses and entrepreneurs have to focus more on training, policy, and internal communication.
According to the survey, the biggest issue is that most employees do not feel relevant to the cybersecurity process. A quarter of the people interviewed reported that they simply don’t care about the process. This means they are prime targets for all kinds of malicious attacks.
We Are the Weakest Link
The human element has long been one of the biggest issues when it comes to negative trends in cybersecurity. And while problems with hardware and software can be patched and solved, the same is not true for people.
Generally, both employees and business owners ignore cybersecurity guidelines. Their negligence can be due to many reasons, but they usually fall into one of these 3 categories:
- Fear of repercussions
Ironically, companies face a problem when solving these issues internally. Security policies are becoming stricter, and it takes hours to train staff to follow these guidelines. Besides, the training process is getting increasingly expensive in labor hours.
A training session can cost as little as $60, which is nothing compared to what cyberattacks can do. However, the cost of labor hours and organization can stack those expenses. Additionally, when a company has more employees, it is more likely to become a victim of a crime.
In most cases, a cybersecurity threat is something minor. And usually, personnel knows how to address this. However, employees rarely report the problem. This could be because of insufficient training, carelessness, or fear that they will lose their job.
The Unexpected Tech Age Gap
Another highlight of the report is a notable age gap between workers in cybersecurity. Generally, we view older generations as less proficient in technology. But this is not the case here. For cybersecurity, the more knowledgeable employees are older than 55.
The report states that older employees are four times more likely to notice and report a cybersecurity issue. They will also more frequently follow the company’s instructions and policies.
This anomaly can be explained by two factors that give the older generation an advantage in this sector. First, older employees follow protocol and feel more stable about their job.
Second, older employees have less information and familiarity with cybersecurity, which can work to their advantage.
The employee does not need to know what exactly is happening to notice the issue. Once noticed, the only thing necessary is to escalate the problem and call the cybersecurity experts.
Communication is also an issue. Due to bad corporate culture, the labor force always fears for their positions. As a result, employees will not report the problem and hope that someone else takes the blame.
Businesses Lose Due to Bad Communication
The current digital workplace is riddled with many pitfalls, and cybersecurity training is just one step to help your staff avoid those. This is especially the case for remote workers. Practice, drills, tests, reporting, and supervisor assistance are just as valuable as the course.
For this to happen, healthy corporate cultures will aim to promote good communication with the people working for them. Employees should be able to send complaints, suggestions, and inquiries about what is happening.
Preventing issues should be something each employee can do. However, everyone should know that preventing all attacks all the time is not humanly possible. So, it is much better to report the issue than to leave it unattended until it becomes unmanageable.
In these cases, when an employee follows the protocol, the company should never penalize or blame the issue on them. This is exactly why new employees simply opt not to report anything.
Low Understanding and Mediocre Policy
Generally, companies have a bad policy and a low understanding of trends in cybersecurity, and they often react badly to mistakes. This makes employees uninterested. Additionally, businesses realize that most hacks have a human element. As a result, they over-focus on the employee’s error instead of creating a long-term solution for the issue.
Companies rarely tailor their cybersecurity policies around their employees’ tendencies. Rather, they simply opt for the best practices put in place by tech giants like Google and Meta.
Room for Improvement
Thankfully, the report shows that 77.4% of employees believe that good security culture is essential for company cybersecurity. If every company follows quality policies tailored to its needs, it can neutralize cybersecurity threats. At the very least, threats can become rarer.
The number of digital attacks in the world is rising exponentially. The United States is also experiencing a shortage of cybersecurity experts. This means companies should invest in each employee and help them understand where the issues may be, how to recognize them, and when to report the problem to their supervisor.