According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) report, more than 791,790 cybercrime complaints have been registered, with losses reported to USD 4.1 billion in 2020. 

These numbers are not just scary but threatening, considering the majority of businesses have switched to the internet since COVID disrupted the industries. 

A big part of why online threats still exist, though we have the multi-factor authorization, biometric mechanisms, and countless other measures, lies between a series of skill gaps between employees and technology. 

Verizon’s “2021 Data Breach Investigations” report states that about 36% of data breaches happen due to Phishing, an online method of exploitation of data and identity which starts with a simple email.

So what can we do to stop these threats? Well, a strong email password isn’t going to protect your data online, nor does a paid subscription to an antivirus program. 

To better understand how online protection works and the best practices you can adopt, we’ve created this report on how industries can deal with cybersecurity and what “you,” as an individual, can do to protect your company’s data. 

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What is the first step in the cybersecurity skill gap?

cybersecurity skill gap

Awareness about cybersecurity and hacking begins with observation and a thorough understanding of the internet ecosystem. It not only works to fend off hackers but also personally safeguards your data. We’ve listed a few more essential points you can refer to while handling cybersecurity threats. 

  1. Don’t respond to emails from anyone outside your workgroup.
  2. If someone poses as a coworker in an email and requests that you click on a link, you should confirm the email’s legitimacy using primary methods.
  3. Keep your office documents and folders off your personal computers, smartphones, and laptops.
  4. Avoid using public Wi-Fi for office work.
  5. Inform your senior and IT team if you see any data or systems getting compromised.

These are the first steps you must know when dealing with a potential security threat. Additionally, a lack of sufficient training puts your employees at a realistic risk of unintentionally handing over information to hackers, which could lead to data theft.

In fact, Verizon reports state that about 82% of breaches in 2022 involve humans, which can be classified into social attacks, errors, and asset misuse.

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What can companies do to fight the ongoing cyberwar, and why does the cybersecurity skill gap plays a big factor?

cybersecurity skill gap

There are various measures, and protocols companies can take to reduce the damages occurred by cybercrime. 

Many companies and security organizations have described how they plan to handle cyber threats.

Although it is nearly difficult to adhere to them exactly, we may condense the material into bite-sized information so the staff can easily understand.

Starting at number 1, we have training for employees.

Training

Work on staff security training has already begun in the hospitality and IT sectors as well as in countless other businesses. The rising frequency of phishing assaults is why we require such training.

According to Agari and PhishLabs Quarterly Threat Trends & Intelligence Report, Phishing has increased in recent years and taken a new form with other online channels like social media, Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks, and more.

The best way to increase awareness about the subject is through online training and conferences focusing on cutting-edge strategies for informing staff members about cyberattacks.

This can involve holding offline/online conferences, bringing IT specialists to the business, and using video animation.

Built-in security devices

By removing third-party devices like personal smartphones, computers, and other electronics from the workplace, companies can reduce the risk of data theft. 

Instead, firms can switch to built-in security devices for employees. This will reduce the chances of getting scammed and safeguards your data from physical damage.

According to Perillon, a US-based EHS Management business, only 26% of US organizations offer their staff cellphones with built-in protection. In comparison, 87% of companies expect their employees to use their personal devices for work-related purposes.

This indicates being unprepared for potential online threats, as these companies allow different IPs and account into their professional ecosystem. By using built-in security devices for daily work, firms can reduce the chances of cybercrimes.

Two-factor authentication (2FA)

Thanks to 2FA, companies can add a layer of protection to their resources. The basic idea of two-factor authentication is adding additional protocol when logging in to websites and corporate databases. Apart from the primary password protection, users have to provide another piece of information before accessing the company’s assets. 

This technology reduces the chances of data theft because the user has to go through two phases of security checks before they can access files and data. Two-factor authentication can be used in a variety of ways, including sending codes using specialized pen drives, sending (OTP)-based text messages, and using software tokens.

Backup your data

Another critical step that ensures limited damage to your data is keeping backups. The majority of online systems provide you with the option to store your databases and files on external hard drives or the cloud.

You can protect the assets of your business and make sure that everything can be restored to its previous state by periodically backing up your data.

CMS systems like WordPress, Wix and Joomla offer free backup programs that can be used to restore data. Similarly, financial software like TurboTax, QuickBooks, and Mint provides a way to backup your data and restore it in times of need.

Keep up with the latest in cybersecurity 

The last step is to keep up with the latest in cybersecurity. Numerous businesses are conned out of their hard-earned money every day, and it is obvious that scammers will continue to prey on companies in the future.

The best way to keep up with internet security is to follow the latest trends using different resources. For example, Malwarebytes suggests six easy ways to keep up with the latest security trends. 

  • Follow security influencers
  • Check out security-related blogs
  • Attend live events
  • Check vulnerability reports of onboard technologies
  • Listen to cybersecurity podcasts
  • Regularly check out social media posts.

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