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March 27, 2017

Are Your Employees Clueless About Cybersecurity? This Study Will Shock You

Your company is like a small fort trying to fend off a zombie apocalypse. Except in this case, you’re fighting cybercriminals — endless amounts of them — who are equipped with sophisticated cyberespionage tools. These criminals have your business surrounded on all sides, and are just waiting to find a vulnerability they can exploit in order to break into your network.

This is no game. The threat facing your business, and all of its digital information, is very real.  Eventually, you will get hit with a cyberattack that will thoroughly test your defenses.

Now here is a question for you:

Are your employees — meaning the people who access your network on a daily basis — aware of the gravity of the situation?

The truth is that the vast majority of workers spend little time worrying about the underbelly of the Internet. They come to work, surf the Web, use email and download media with productivity in mind —not cybersecurity.

To most people, cybersecurity is still very much an “IT problem.” In fact, most people are still way behind in their cybersecurity knowledge and can’t tell a botnet from a bagel.

Just recently, Pew Research conducted a survey where they asked American Internet users questions about cybersecurity issues. And the majority of respondents struggled to get even half of them right.

The questions covered a wide range of topics. Respondents handled the easier questions okay, as 75 percent were able to identify the most secure password from a list of four options. Seventy-three percent of respondents knew that public WiFi is not always safe for sensitive activities.

After these two questions, though, there was a noticeable drop-off in correct answers.

For instance, only 54 percent of respondents could identify a phishing attack, while 24 percent were unsure. And 21 percent answered incorrectly.

Only 52 percent of respondents knew that turning off a smartphone’s GPS function does not prevent all location tracking from taking place. This is particularly alarming, as many leading applications use geolocation tracking. Uber, for instance, recently got into hot water for shady data collection practices.  

Just 48 percent of respondents knew that ransomware is a technique that criminals use to encrypt and hold users’ data hostage until a payment is received.

It gets worse, too…

Only 39 percent of respondents were aware that going into “private” mode in an Internet browser does not prevent Internet Service Providers from monitoring online activity; 49 percent were unsure about this, while 12 percent answered incorrectly. And respondents really tanked when answering questions about botnets, VPNs and identifying multi-factor authentication examples; things, in other words, that every working adult should know.

Of course, your business may be different. Perhaps you have Web-savvy employees working for you, who are actively concerned about staying safe online. If so, you are very fortunate. But if not, you should strongly consider running a cybersecurity training course to get everyone up to speed quickly.

This training course should be for everyone — from interns to C-level executives. After all, in the fight against cybercrime, every Internet user has an important role to play. Remember that this is open cyberwar where everyone is a target. Cybercriminals aren’t “nice” and will not do the right thing when they encounter a weak password, or an open and unattended laptop sitting on a coffee table. They will pounce on the opportunity, and they will do it quickly. We are seeing digital survival of the fittest taking place, where only the strong and responsive businesses will survive.  

Does your business have what it takes?

A new breed of hacktrepeneurs has awoken and they have little to fear and everything to gain by infecting as many companies as possible and extorting money from them. Apex Technology Services stands ready to protect your company regardless of whether it’s located in New York CityWhite Plains, New York; Connecticut; Australia; Europe; or anywhere else. Our full suite of cybersecurity and IT support services is at your disposal, enabling you to spend less time worrying about and more time growing your business.

To ensure your security, consider one of our most popular services — Auditing & Documentationwhich pinpoints vulnerabilities in your infrastructure, process flow and internal security procedures.

Apex Technology Services
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