Human Risk Assessment

Identification of possible human error vulnerabilities
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Human Risk Assessment Tool

Human behavior has been identified as an important root cause of cybersecurity issues. As such, human factor should be considered in protecting against cybersecurity risks. This implies that assessment of human risks can thus be considered as a new approach for reducing cyber risks.  

Find out the risks associated with your enterprise today using our free risk assessment tool

What is Cyber Human Factor? 

To properly assess and mitigate human risks, it is critical to understand what makes up the cyber human factor. The cyber human factor refers to the vulnerabilities that are related to the security cultures as well as general human goodwill and behavior. It is noteworthy that human factor has little to do with actual errors made as regards cybersecurity.  

Cybercriminals are shifting their operations to a more subtle and easier way of gaining access to sensitive information. For example, instead of having to spend time hacking into systems, cybercriminals could decide to impersonate business executives or probably technical support.  

In these cases, the criminals apply social engineering to acquire information for financial transactions as well as other critical information. Research has indicated the cyber weaknesses within a number of enterprises:

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Data breaches and cyber attacks influenced by human error

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Proportion of organizations that are targets of phishing and social engineering attacks

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Percentage of organizations that lost sensitive data in 2019

Managing human errors 

A comprehensive cybersecurity plan should include the management of human errors. Some important point for organizations to start from in managing human errors includes the following: 

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Identification of possible loopholes and vulnerabilities

There is a need to identify the possible loopholes that might affect organization data and productivity. This is why at DC Encompass, we offer an efficient human risk assessment tool to equip organizations to identify possible issues.  We provide a solution that addresses issues such as the exposure of sensitive information on the Dark Web which is a well-established trend with millions of data transacted every year.  

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Phishing and social engineering

Another focus of human risk assessment is phishing and social engineering. Cybercriminals easily carry out business email compromise when employees use the same password across multiple platforms.  

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Cybersecurity culture

The assessment of human errors also focuses on the cybersecurity culture. Organizations with a solid cybersecurity culture emphasize the importance of cybersecurity just like performance and productivity. Employers and managers should constantly talk about cybersecurity and act accordingly to send a message to employees that security is critical to the success of the organization. Employees must be made aware of the threats the organization faces or has faced in the past so that they understand the scope of the issue and how they can play a role in combating it. Even if all attacks have been unsuccessful, the fact that these threats exist should be properly communicated to employees. Successful attacks on similar organizations could also be shared with employees to motivate them to be better committed to avoiding human errors. We are basically saying that you should always use real examples when educating employees on cybersecurity. General and refresher training should be carried out with the application of real examples.  

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Physical Environment Management 

Physical environment management is another important aspect of the management of cyber human errors. This particularly involves visitor movement management. Organizations should establish a culture with a heavy focus on visitor management. 

With an established visitor management culture, the index of suspicion of unusual activity is increased and that could play an important role in the overall cybersecurity culture.  

Organizations could apply improved authentication measures for minimizing human errors. Experts are proposing that organizations need to move beyond passwords as an authentication method to reduce the contribution of human errors to cyberattacks.  

Instead of passwords, other authentication methods experts have suggested include fingerprint, facial, and palm-vein. These methods can supplement passwords or be the major authentication methods.  

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Effective Management of Human Resources

The management of human errors should involve the effective management of human resources. The workload of employees should be designed such that the workload does not undermine the ability to identify possible cybersecurity issues.  

An overworked employee is more likely to miss the minor vulnerabilities that attackers maximized. Hackers count on the fact that employees would miss the little pointers to the criminal activities. This is why general human resource management is part of human error management.  

The personalities of employees could also be assessed to identify susceptibility to vulnerabilities. This assessment could be carried out during the interview of prospective employees to understand whether their personalities make them susceptible to social engineering and phishing attacks.  

Different forms of technologies can be applied in minimizing and eliminating human error. These technologies include secure email gateways. This particular technology removes spam and malware from inbound emails as well as monitors outbound email content for vulnerabilities.  

Systems for data loss prevention are important for preventing cyberattacks. Specific data loss prevention systems are to be applied for the identification of vulnerabilities. Identified vulnerabilities should then be plugged swiftly.  

Secure web gateways

Organizations could also apply secure web gateways as part of their human error management strategy. With these tools, Internet-connected devices can be protected from infection with the removal of malware and unwanted software. These tools also help organizations with achieving regulatory compliance.  

We should mention that organizations face wider cybersecurity threats with the establishment of the work-from-home system. With employees working from home, they are bound to use different devices for work, and this increases the risks of attacks.  

Research has particularly shown that mobile devices are more prone to phishing attacks as well as social media attacks, and employees are applying more mobile devices as they work from home.  

Hackers are also applying phishing attacks based on the COVID-19 information. As such, employers and managers should emphasize the emerging attacks as the work environment changes.  

Conclusion

Cybersecurity threats are real and should be managed with a comprehensive approach that includes the identification of possible human error vulnerabilities and fixing them. Efforts towards ensuring cybersecurity never go to waste. It is a well-known fact that cyberattacks cost billions of dollars and are better prevented than managed.  

Looking to reduce the Risks associated with Human Error? Contact our team today for a customised solution

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