In the thick of the Age of Paranoia

More than 10 years ago a leading psychiatrist Dr Daniel Freeman named the 21st century the Age of Paranoia having conducted research into the state of paranoia for a decade before. He was referring to the way we don’t let our children play outside on their own anymore, that we’re suspicious of strangers and we’ve put security cameras all over the place.

There’s something else we need to add to the list of what we need to protect: our data. The truth is that if you aren’t yet paranoid about opening emails then you should be.

Rise in need for email safety

CSO Online provides news, analysis and research on a broad range of security and risk management topics and towards the end of 2018, it announced some sobering stats about cyber crime and deemed email to be the biggest gateway for cyber criminals. A staggering 92% of malware was delivered by email. It’s a huge percentage and a big worry because no matter how easy it sounds to just not open an unfamiliar email, employees continue to be tricked into doing it.

Employee training a must

It turns out that one of the most important things you can do today is put an employee training plan together that’ll drum data security and cyber security into every single staff member. It only takes one weak link in the form of an absent-minded employee for your business to be had by a cyber attack.

Another frightening stat announced by CSO Online was that 56% of IT decision makers put targeted phishing attacks as their top security threat. This just backs up the email threat as phishing commonly finds success via email. This stat also fits in with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) findings in terms of human error.

Human error a huge threat

In late 2018 the ICO found that 88% of data breaches were due to human error, and only 12% to cyber attack. In the States, it’s thought to be even higher, at 95%.

What this says is that it’s one thing to get the best cyber security software onboard, but if your employees are negligent it’s not going to save you. Staff may send confidential data to the wrong recipients and that would constitute a breach. So would losing paperwork and leaving data in unsafe locations.

The UK retail chain PC World reported that 59% of employees who resign or are dismissed, steal corporate data before they go.

Back in 2017 researchers at the University of Maryland speculated that a cyber attack takes place every minute as a result of non-secure usernames and passwords, and in the same year IBM’s chairman, president and CEO Ginni Rometty’s warned that cybercrime was the greatest threat to every company in the world. It’s looking more and more likely.

If these stats haven’t scared you, then we haven’t done our job. Be prepared for all kinds of security threats. But how? Start with your own machine, then move onto your network. Protect your perimeter with the best possible protection.

Are you aware of all the different types of cyber attacks?

Download this list as a PDF to arm yourself

Cyber attacks pdf