Combating Cyber Crime: The Human Factor

Cyber Security, Newsletter

A startling reality in today’s interconnected world is that up to 95% of Cyber Attacks can be traced back to human errors. Companies with more employees face a higher risk of falling victim to cyber crime. While cyber criminals do occasionally breach firewalls, it is often unsuspecting employees who grant them access to endpoints, sensitive corporate data or perform actions under the influence of social engineering attacks. Additionally, external parties, such as customers or suppliers, can be subject to cyber attacks and unwittingly (or unknowingly) send fake or altered documents to your company, such as malicious PDF documents or vendor invoices with false bank account details. These instances highlight the need for a combination of technology and human vigilance to effectively combat cyberattacks.

  1. Human-Centred Security
    Cyber Attacks often succeed due to preventable human errors, such as clicking on a phishing email, opening email attachments containing malware, or using easily guessed or repeated passwords. To reduce these risks, businesses must strengthen employee awareness and training, create a culture of security, employ stricter access controls, utilise password managers, enable multi-factor authentication (MFA/2FA), and implement fraud detection processes for incoming documents. 
  2. Technological Defences and Automation
    While human factors contribute to most Cyber Attacks, technological barriers are essential in keeping determined hackers at bay. Accounts Payable (AP) systems are prime targets for cyber criminals, with 74% of companies experiencing payment fraud attempts. Solutions like Active Email Threat Detection, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Data Encryption help to secure corporate networks and sensitive data. 
  3. External Threat Prevention
    To protect against external threats, IT departments should employ Firewalls, EDR/MDR, AI-driven Cyber Security, and Data Encryption. These systems monitor network traffic, detect malicious activities, and encrypt sensitive data to ensure only authorised parties can access it. However, when paired with a SOC (Security Operation Centre) it is like having your own Cyber Security department available 24/7 to proactively protect you from cyber threats at all times. 
  4. Internal Fraud Protection
    To counter insider threats, companies can deploy automated monitoring of employee activities, end-to-end payment process automation on a single platform, document-level change detection, and unusual data pattern detection. These measures help identify suspicious behaviour, reduce human error, and prevent fraudulent activities from both external and internal sources.

The key to defending against and defeating Cyber Crime lies in striking the right balance between Advanced Security Solutions and well-trained, vigilant employees. Continuous training, internal testing and awareness programmes can reduce human errors, while technology and automation can prevent attacks from reaching people in the first place. This combined approach is essential for thwarting would-be fraudsters and securing businesses against ever-evolving cyber threats.

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