Companies can spend millions securing their data and hardware, but all that diligence and hard work can become undone in seconds if they overlook the weak link most susceptible to a cyberattack: their employees. That’s why cybercriminals try to gain access to data or networks through various techniques targeting employees, including phishing and business email compromise attacks.
As cybercriminals get more sophisticated and perfect their social engineering techniques, most workers don’t even realize they’ve given away login information or clicked on a malicious link until it’s far too late.
The Biggest Fish Makes the Biggest Prize
Anyone is a potential target—from front-line employees working with data all the way to the CEO. In fact, the top brass are often the biggest culprits of poor security practices. According to a survey of IT professionals, 31% of C-level employees are likely to have accidentally sent sensitive data to the wrong person in the last year, compared to just 22% of general employees. And 20% of organizations report that a member of their C-suite data sent data via email in response to a phishing email in the past 12 months.
In addition, employees who work with user credentials, personally identifiable information (PII), sensitive data, critical systems, or shared-access resources are particularly valuable targets for hackers.
Training Alone Is Not Enough
Training all employees on how to detect and defend against social engineering attacks is necessary, but not sufficient on its own. Companies must also scan their people in the same way they scan their networks to identify risk.
By testing employees through simulated social engineering attacks, a company can quantify its “people” risk to determine how vulnerable the organization is to both broad and targeted social engineering attacks.
It can also analyze changes in employee open- and click-through rates using test malicious emails to gauge the impact of its training program and identify which employees need additional training.
Download our white paper, Reduce Your Attack Surface with Continuous Risk Assessment—and see how to reduce your susceptibility to an attack.