Negative Impacts of Not Having an IT Security Awareness Program in Place
This year information attacks to organizations have been more frequent, intended to get economic benefits; however, in the last two years, this increase keeps showing as the main points of attack in organizations those which aim at the weakest link in security: employees.
Nowadays, with all the information building around technology, users are still the main entrance; hackers are always looking for new ways of doing social engineering in order to access a company’s systems; neither they are static, nor they ever use the same technique to penetrate the expensive information security systems which organizations implement.
What are the Risks and What Negative Impacts are Feasible?
The risks of not having an IT security awareness program embedded in your organization can encompass from a financial issue to a problem where human life is put at risk. Take as an example the ransomware attacks that in past months affected several hospitals’ systems—a simple malware that entered the organization because a user probably opened an e-mail attachment, being deceived probably with a message, or simply because it seemed easy to connect an infected flash drive to the PC in the hospital’s network. These small issues could have costed many people’s lives, due to the systems that control the complex health equipment being disabled.
Are Negative Impacts only on the Operational Side?
Negative impacts are not only part of operations management in the organization, but also impact strategic management—CEOs are also a relevant target for hackers; security incidents reported with CEOs range from an economic loss for the company (many times incalculable), to the loss of reputation of both the CEO and the organization.
Is Reputation Loss a Negative Impact?
Yes. An enterprise’s reputation is an invaluable asset. Reputation can take years to build, and it can be affected in an instant through a security breach; customers immediately lose trust and wonder if it’s safe dealing with the organization. This simple fact will make many customers move to another service provider.
Are There More Risks or Negative Impacts due to the Lack of an IT Security Awareness Program?
Yes. Legal issues are also part of security breaches. The information we use every day in our organizations is ruled by local, state, or federal laws, and the loss of this information or its unauthorized disclosure causes non-compliance to these laws.
Other negative effects relate to material or operative loss. These effects are related many times among each other when a security incident occurs. The negative effect of all of them can be incalculable, financially-wise. Many of the organizations that suffered some breach in their information security are still suffering the consequences.
Is a Security Awareness Program the Solution?
An IT security awareness program prepares users—one of the most vulnerable links in the chain—to face and handle the threats when they come. This can considerably decrease the chances of suffering negative impacts from cyberattacks, and can ultimately protect the most valuable asset of any organization: information.
Global Lynx can help your organization assess its information security needs and implement an IT security awareness program that equips you with the resiliency required to face the coming challenges.
Comments by John Buk