The future of tech has brought about dynamic advancements in how we do business. From CRM databases to enhancing interdepartmental collaboration, automation has made it easy to assume we live in a world where the risks of compromised data are a thing of the past. Unfortunately, despite significant improvements to antivirus software and firewalls, email security is still a vulnerability for many companies.
As we take a look back at the year in review, there’s much to be learned about protecting sensitive information and data through enhanced email security. AE Technology Group has paired down the highlights of email security in 2019. We’re here to make the goal of zero security breaches in 2020 a reality for our business clients.
Pinpointing the Vulnerability
Identifying the weakest link in your cyber security force is key to understanding and preventing data breaches. Many companies assume hackers will target the lowest echelon of employees first, making large businesses particularly vulnerable to compromised security at a departmental level. According to Mimecast’s 2019 State of Email Security Report, this assumption isn’t entirely correct.
While company wide security training is highly important, hackers tend to target members of the executive team in an effort to get their digital hands on the most valuable data and financial information. Mimecast found that a substantial 31% of executive level personnel sent sensitive data to the wrong person. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the aforementioned statistic, 40% of employees regarded their CEO as the weakest link when it came to cyber security and believed their CEO undervalued the impact of email security.
Assessing the Casualties
Now that we’ve all taken a moment to enjoy some humble pie, it’s time to take a look at the costs of a cyber attack. Of the companies survey, 39% reported data loss with financial data loss following close behind at 29%. 28% reported a decrease in their customer base, with 27% reporting job losses as a result of a large scale breach.
It’s easy to imagine that a data breach has a profound and lasting impact on a company’s reputation. Examining the strategies used to extract data and target vulnerabilities is the first step in preventing damage.
(Cyber) Criminal Minds
As the realm of business technology grows and becomes more sophisticated every year, hackers are also becoming more advanced. According to our friends at Mimecast, 71% of organizations were victim to email-based malicious activity spread by an infected user in the last year alone. The most common types of fraud included wire transfer requests, requests for confidential data, impersonation of third-party vendors, and malicious email attachments.
Despite the substantial increase in cyber attacks as well as the improved strategies behind such threats, only 25% of companies routinely implement cyber security training for their staff. Of those who did train their employees, 62% included group sessions, 45% included interactive videos, and less than half (44%) were given formal online testing, reference tips, and one-on-one sessions. This means that employees are limited in their opportunities to learn, ask questions, and develop their knowledge of cyber security.
Looking to the Future
The statistics behind cyber crime and the consequences of a data breach can be a grim truth to process. Fortunately for proactive business owners, this information is also a guideline for improvement.
As we move into 2020, the need to prioritize cyber security for large and small businesses has never been greater. Build a foundation of excellence by implementing comprehensive technology training, robust firewall and antivirus software, and state of the art data storage and disaster recovery programs.
Contact our experts today to learn more about equipping your New York business for the future.