The explosion in the number of remote workers has left CISOs grappling with a new cybersecurity landscape and created unprecedented challenges for security teams. With many workers having never met their colleagues face-to-face, a sense of detachment from the workplace is almost routine and high turnover is becoming the norm.
This presents a ripe opportunity for phishing and malware scams, as people are less likely to identify a possible phishing email from their manager that is not in their typical tone of voice, for example. Coupled with users that don’t feel part of a cohesive team, with little incentive to actively participate in impersonal security training, and you’ve got the blueprint for a breach. Using data to build historical profiles of individual user behaviors fills the gap that has been pointed out by Forrester, in traditional Security and Awareness Training programs.
Not Just Who but Why
If you don’t feel invested in your company culture and question the purpose of your job, how motivated will you be to follow secure browsing guidelines, for example? How do we get remote employees quickly on board with security protocols and target our highest risk users?
Throwing more training and awareness programs at the problem of phishing and social engineering threats is not guaranteed to solve the problem. Yes, the user is a crucial link in the breach chain, but especially in this new hybrid-remote work environment, an additional step is needed. Cyentia’s new report cites that 3% of users are responsible for 92% of malware incidents and 12% of users cause 80% of phishing incidents. Identifying your highest risk users is the first step to securing your organization. Then using historical profile data to understand why they are risky and pinpointing what that risk looks like allows organizations to build custom guardrails for each user.
Data Driven Safeguards
If you take the time to trace the kill chain all the way back, you will find that users unintentionally cause 85% of security incidents. And it turns out that it’s only 6% of your workforce causing the vast majority of these incidents. You can help those users by creating an historical profile of individual behavior over time and specifying what types of risky behaviors can easily turn into incidents and breaches. Adjusting policies to further safeguard against those errant behaviors will reduce the likelihood of a security incident. Informing your users of why their browsing policy has been adjusted and that they have clicked on 8 phishing emails this month, for example, will help them understand their own risk posture and empower them to take steps to improve.
Find Meaning and Create Incentive
Imagine receiving a monthly email with detailed information on your unique progression in risk posture and perhaps even a comparison to other groups within your organization. Envision a positive workforce culture where awards or prizes for the best performing groups are handed out. Wouldn’t that be more compelling than quickly clicking through a universal five hour security training video when you’ve got a pile of real work to do?
Pinpointing high risk users and applying safeguards to keep them from unintentionally putting your organization at risk, along with building a positive security culture in which individual users are applauded as they progress in lowering their personal risk profiles is the path forward.
Getting your employees invested in security and shifting left of insider threat begins with relevant data and a targeted response. Elevate Security provides real time feedback coupled with automated security controls tuned to match individual user risk. Contact us to get started.