In the battle against cybercriminals, there is no singular solution that fully protects any business, including a manufacturing and distribution (M&D) company, from the relentless barrage of attacks on our personal and corporate data. Companies of any size, in any sub-industry or specialty area, are at risk. There is, however, something that is affordable, extraordinarily effective, and the closest thing to a cybersecurity silver bullet that exists in today’s world. That secret weapon is cybersecurity awareness training, and it is one of the greatest deterrents against the onslaught of attacks that plague M&D companies.
In order to understand why training is so critical to defending M&D digital assets, it is important to understand how most modern attacks occur. In the not-so-distant past, attackers would attempt to battle their way through firewalls and intrusion detection systems to get to a victim’s data. However, these attacks were very time-consuming and increasingly thwarted by ever-improving defensive technologies.
At some point, attackers realized that they needed a new approach to stealing information, so they adopted the nefarious tactic known as social engineering. This is when attackers bypass technological fortifications and instead attempt to deceive end users into doing their bidding.
Pretending to be a contact we know is one of the most common social engineering strategies employed by villainous attackers and can be delivered by email (phishing), text (smishing), or voice (vishing). Gone are the days of easily-identifiable phishing emails (e.g., a kind prince asking for a small loan), as attacks are now laser-focused messages that appear to originate from a trusted source.
A frighteningly significant number of individuals are fooled by these deceitful and malicious attacks, resulting in a spate of ransomware infections, fraudulent wire transfers, or compromised sensitive information. M&D companies are one deception away from catastrophe by unknowingly handing over trade secrets, proprietary information, or sensitive customer data. A cyberattack at any point can cause a ripple effect throughout the company, potentially impacting the entire supply chain.
With social engineering attacks lurking within our inbox, it quickly becomes evident that education and awareness are paramount to keeping us safe – empowering employees with the ability to detect and avoid attacks. While there is no magic formula for creating the perfect training solution, here are some best practices that can give training programs the greatest chance of success.
Social engineering attacks are the weapon of choice for cybercriminals and difficult to stop with technology alone. Educated employees who have been armed with awareness through cybersecurity training create a virtual “human firewall,” greatly increasing the chances of repelling social engineering attacks and keeping M&D companies safe and secure.