Cybersecurity Best Practices for Reducing the Human Risk Factor at Your Logistics Company
Nearly all cybersecurity breaches, a staggering 95%, are caused by human error, according to IBM’s 2022 Cyber Security Intelligence Index Report. This alarming figure underlines the importance of addressing this risk factor in your logistics company.
The costs of a security breach extend far beyond immediate financial impact. A breach can tarnish a company’s reputation, damage customer trust, and result in loss of business and market share. In the transportation industry, IBM found that the average cost of a data breach in 2022 was an astounding $3.59 million.
Cyber attacks are more prevalent, creative, and faster than ever before. Understanding your distribution or logistic company’s risk factors, vulnerabilities, and how to safeguard your organization against infiltration is vital.
Building a Culture of Cybersecurity
Since human error poses the greatest risk to your data, it is crucial to address the root of this threat. The foundation of mitigating data breaches due to human error is establishing a culture of cybersecurity within your organization.
If your company’s leadership is not invested in cybersecurity or engaging in dialogue about the importance of data security with employees, your workforce will not grasp the value of maintaining cybersecurity.
Without a foundation of cybersecurity culture, your employees may be aware of cybersecurity risks, but are not likely to understand the full scope of potential threats.
Start by ensuring that your company’s leadership is invested in cybersecurity. Leaders should aim to progress from a basic understanding of cybersecurity to a holistic awareness of standard cybersecurity concepts throughout the organization. This does not mean that the entire organization needs to be experts, but when leaders understand the importance of security controls and why they are in place, the entire organization benefits from this awareness.
Common Risk Factors Related to Human Error
Beyond a lack of cybersecurity culture, there are several other ways in which human error can lead to a cybersecurity breach:
- Weak or Reused Passwords: All too often, employees use weak, easily guessable passwords or reuse them across multiple platforms. This can make it easier for cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information.
- Phishing Attacks: Phishing remains the leading cause of malware, accounting for 41% of incidents, according to IBM. IBM also observed a 100% increase in attempted thread hijacking per month—where attackers impersonate individuals and exploit existing email conversations. A simple click on a malicious link in a phishing email can result in a full-blown data breach or malware infection across your organization.
- Unsecured Networks and Devices: The use of unsecured networks, like public Wi-Fi, or personal devices for work-related activities, can put sensitive data at risk.
- Outdated Software: Ignoring software update reminders leaves your systems vulnerable to attack.
- Improper Data Handling: Employees may accidentally delete important files, fail to back up data, or mishandle sensitive information, leading to data loss or breaches. This risk is especially high when employees lack proper training in data management and cybersecurity best practices.
Best Practices for Mitigating Human Error Risks in Cybersecurity
Here are some practical steps to help your logistics company tackle these human error risks:
Enforce Regular Employee Training
Educate your workforce about the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape and emerging threats. Develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) for data handling and security protocols to ensure that issues can be addressed quickly and effectively. Train all employees on the latest cyber threats and best practices. Implement policies regarding phishing emails, suspicious links, passwords, secure remote access, etc.
Implement Monitoring and Prevention Procedures
Introduce policies and procedures to help your organization manage the risk of breach. Some practical courses of action are:
- Adding an extra layer of protection against unauthorized access by implementing strong password policies and multi-factor authentication.
- Leveraging application controls to manage user access and maintain secure connections. This limits the potential for unauthorized access within your systems.
- Implementing user monitoring and behavior analytics. This will help identify anomalies and suspicious behavior in user activity, potentially catching breaches before they occur.
Create Phishing Simulations and Awareness Campaigns
Given the prevalence of phishing attacks and social engineering, it is crucial to teach employees how to identify malicious communications and follow SOPs to report threats in real time. These simulations and campaigns can help employees recognize and avoid potential threats.
Encourage Reporting of Security Incidents
Building on your culture of cybersecurity, create an environment where reporting perceived risks or threats is encouraged, not feared. Develop clear SOPs for reporting and managing potential threats, and review your SOPs and policies regularly to ensure the processes are still effective.
Collaborate with External Security Experts
Identitify, prioritize, and remediate your organization’s vulnerabilities (taken from IBM). Regular audits, assessments, and cybersecurity management from external experts can provide added reassurance of your company’s security.
Protect Your Company from Cyber Attacks
While the human risk factor in cybersecurity cannot be entirely eliminated, it can be significantly reduced. By cultivating a culture of cybersecurity and implementing these best practices, your logistics company can build a robust defense against cybersecurity breaches – protecting your data, your reputation, and your bottom line.
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