These 3 departments pose the highest risk of being hacked
Cyber security experts from NordLocker, part of Nord Security, reveal that employees from certain departments are much more lucrative targets for cybercriminals than others. With human error being the cause behind a whopping 82% of data breaches, employees are the weakest link when it comes to your organisation’s cyber security.
“From receptionists to the C-Suite, every employee should be treated as an important chess piece when it comes to cybersecurity. But cybersec training and tools should be based on fairness, not equality, and tailored to each department and role because exposure to outside threats and access to certain types of information varies greatly in each company, says Oliver Noble, a cybersecurity expert at NordLocker.
According to Oliver, these departments are the most vulnerable to being hacked; and here’s why:
The marketing department
With marketers as the company’s outward-facing voice, they are some of the easiest targets for cybercriminals, according to Noble. More often than not, the email addresses and other contact information of marketers are out in the public and easily accessible, making them low-hanging fruit for hackers to exploit in their next phishing attack.
People who work in marketing are also much more likely to fall for a phishing attack by clicking on the malicious link or downloading the suspicious attachment. Because marketing departments are likely to work with third-party vendors, receiving emails from external sources is often part of their routine, making it easier for a phishing email to slip in. into the network.
The highest-ranking leaders are an obvious choice for cybercriminals. They are usually the ones who have unrestricted access to the most sensitive company files, which if opened by someone with bad intentions, could spell doom for the company’s future.
But more often than not, managers themselves aren’t the ones who let malware into the network, because their access points and contact details are protected by additional threat mitigation measures compared to the average employee. However, the same cannot be said for people in their immediate circle, such as their assistants, who often have similar, if not the same, access credentials to internal documents, but lack the same cybersecurity measures as their boss.
The IT department
The IT department often has wider access to the most critical business data compared to other branches, including important credentials and encryption keys, making them exceptionally lucrative targets for cybercriminals. Besides that, people working in IT are responsible for managing the entire company’s digital infrastructure, which if exposed to hackers, can shut down the entire company and hold it hostage within a minute.
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How to protect your business from a cyber attack
According to Noble, people can avoid many data breaches by following these steps to improve their cyber security:
- Encourage cyber security training. Investing in your employees’ knowledge is one of the fastest ways to prevent a cyber attack from happening in the first place. It should be organized regularly and have a holistic approach that covers every single employee.
- Adopt zero-trust network access. The “trust none, verify all” mindset is based on the zero-trust paradigm and is used through identity authentication to access work equipment and resources, network segmentation and access control.
- Implement and enforce periodic data backup and restoration processes. An encrypted cloud can be the most secure solution.
- Enable multi-factor authentication. Known as MFA, it acts as an extra layer of security. It is an authentication method that uses two or more mechanisms to validate the user’s identity – these can be separate apps, security keys, devices or biometric data.