What would you say is the biggest cybersecurity threat in 2024? Ransomware is certainly a major concern, with attacks being reported with increasing frequency, and phishing attacks continue to cause headaches for businesses; however, a recent survey of Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) by STX Next has revealed the biggest perceived cybersecurity threat is neither of these. When asked about the biggest cybersecurity threat faced by their organization in 2024, 59% of CTOs said human error, 48% said ransomware, and 40% said phishing.

It is possible to implement a range of cybersecurity measures to combat threats such as ransomware and phishing to ensure that these attacks do not succeed. An email security solution can be implemented that will scan all emails for signs of phishing and will prevent the majority of malicious and unwanted messages from being delivered to inboxes. Email security solutions also scan emails for malware to prevent it from reaching employees. Security solutions can detect and block attempts by hackers to breach systems and implementing cybersecurity best practices will ensure that vulnerabilities are addressed before they can be exploited; however, employees are a weak point that many businesses are failing to address, and hackers know all too well that targeting employees is the easiest way to breach a company network.

Hackers can search for and exploit unpatched vulnerabilities in software and investigations of cyberattacks often show highly sophisticated attack methods have been used, but hackers have not required high levels of sophistication in most breaches. It is far easier to use social engineering to trick employees into providing access to accounts and systems and to take advantage of security mistakes by employees. Verizon’s 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report found the human element was involved in 74% of all cybersecurity breaches, with some studies suggesting the figure is closer to 95%.

Human error includes setting weak passwords that can easily be guessed, leaving systems unsecured, disclosing passwords in phishing emails, downloading malware onto their devices, sending emails containing sensitive data to incorrect recipients, installing unauthorized software, and more. It is not possible to stop employees from making mistakes, but if businesses provide security awareness training and teach employees security best practices, it is possible to reduce errors to a low and acceptable level. Security awareness training allows businesses to develop a security culture, where employees are constantly looking for threats and stop and think before they take any action that could potentially open the door to hackers.

The key to successful security awareness training is to provide it regularly. A once-a-year training session is better than nothing, but it won’t create a security culture and employees will not be sufficiently up-to-date on the new tactics that hackers are using to breach business networks. Training needs to be provided continuously throughout the year with employees instructed about the latest tactics hackers are using to target them so they can recognize threats and avoid them.

The SafeTitan Security Awareness Training platform makes it easy for businesses to create effective security awareness training programs. Courses can be developed that run continuously throughout the year, and the training content can be easily tailored to the organization, departments, job roles, and even individuals to ensure it is relevant and tackles the specific threats they are likely to face. The training content covers all aspects of security, teaches best practices, and makes employees aware of the threats they are likely to encounter. SafeTitan is a modular training platform with each computer-based training module lasting no more than 10 minutes, so it is easy to fit training into busy workflows. It is easy for businesses to monitor who is completing training and see how effective the training has been.

In addition to providing training, employees’ knowledge needs to be tested to make sure that the training material has been understood and is being applied. SafeTitan includes a phishing simulation platform that allows businesses to see how employees respond to simulated attacks and identify employees who are making mistakes. Those weak points can then be addressed before they can be exploited by hackers. SafeTitan is the only security awareness training platform that delivers training in real-time in response to employee errors. When an error is detected, such as a phishing test failure, training is delivered to individual employees in real-time when the additional training is likely to be most effective at changing behavior.

Employees are the first line of defense and it is important for the defensive line to be fortified, rather than solely concentrating on technical measures such as anti-spam gateways and spam filtering appliances. To find out more about the SafeTitan platform, give the TitanHQ team a call today. SafeTitan is also available on a free trial so you can see for yourself how easy it is to create and automate your training courses.