Cybersecurity Mistakes That Could Cost You Your Job
- by Justice Levine
There is never a good time for employees to make mistakes, especially for those whose work involves their organization's cybersecurity platforms. A recent study found that one in four employees lost their jobs in the past year after making a mistake that compromised their company’s email security.
The same research found that people are falling for more advanced phishing scams, and the business stakes for errors are much higher. Having a secure email for your company has never been more important, and implementing defense-in-depth cloud email protection is critical in preventing damaging security incidents that could potentially cost you your job. This article will discuss employees’ mistakes that have led to termination, how to avoid them and the proper security measures your company can take to protect against attacks and breaches.
Breaking Down the Numbers: Cybersecurity Layoff Statistics as of 2023
Over the past year, many cybersecurity companies have announced layoffs due to reorganization strategies stemming from the global economic slowdown. The latest cybersecurity layoff statistics show:
- The U.S. needs nearly 530,000 additional cybersecurity workers to bridge the gap.
- Layoffs are affecting both tech giants and smaller cybersecurity platforms.
- In 2022 alone, over 120,000 people have been dismissed from their jobs at some of the most prominent players in tech, including Meta, Amazon, Netflix, and soon Google, as well as smaller firms and startups.
- 34 security firms have announced layoffs or workforce restructuring since the start of 2022.
- Some of the affected cybersecurity firms include OneTrust (950 staff laid off, 25% of employees), Sophos (450, 10%), Lacework (300, 20%), Cybereason (200, 17%), and OwnBackup (170, 17%).
50% of employees reported emailing the wrong person due to the pressure of sending the email quickly, compared to the 34% reported in 2020. Additionally, over 40% of participants stated that distraction and fatigue were the reasons behind falling victim to various types of phishing attacks. More workers blamed fatigue and distraction for their mistakes in the past year, likely due to the shift towards hybrid work.
Employees Might Lose Their Jobs From These Mistakes
Stress can significantly impact cybersecurity behavior, especially in remote or hybrid work environments. A recent survey found nearly half of respondents admitted to sending emails to the wrong recipient due to time constraints, distraction, and fatigue.
This problem has been further complicated by the increasing number of collaboration apps for internal and external communications. Even if an organization has secured its video conferencing system, the risk increases when employees use unapproved applications to place external calls.
Five mistakes that could cost you your job include:
- Failing to keep up with the latest threats and trends: cybersecurity is an ever-evolving field. Stay updated on the latest threats, phishing attack types, and defensive email protection strategies to make you practical and relevant.
- Neglecting your professional development: to stay at the top of your field, cybersecurity professionals must constantly improve their knowledge and skills, including handling email security threats. Failure to do so could hinder your career and leave you behind.
- Needing to take security seriously: cybersecurity is an essential function of any organization. Failure to take this seriously can have catastrophic consequences, such as data and email security breaches, financial losses, or reputational damage. Neglecting this responsibility could lead to disciplinary action or even termination.
- Violating ethical standards: cybersecurity professionals must adhere to strict standards to maintain confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data and information systems. Violations of ethical standards, such as sharing or gaining access to confidential information without permission, can lead to disciplinary action and termination.
- Failing to communicate effectively: collaboration among all cybersecurity professionals is an essential skill that allows them to communicate complex security concepts with non-technical stakeholders and to work effectively with different departments. Communication failures can result in misunderstandings, mistakes, delays, or job losses.
The harsher consequences of mistakes, such as being fired, have led to fewer employees reporting security incidents to IT. Security teams need more visibility of threats within the organization. To build a more robust culture of security, we need to create a transparent, shame-free environment and an employee experience that is positive and secure. Changes in the way we work have increased our exposure to threats. Modernizing email security awareness and training is necessary to ensure employees know the risks they face in today's cloud-first environment. Updating data loss prevention security is essential for businesses to acknowledge that mistakes are bound to happen.
What Can Corporations Do to Minimize Burnout?
Organizations must create a transparent and shame-free environment to encourage open communication and avoid mistakes. Regarding safety, companies should encourage positive safety experiences to establish a partnership mindset between safety teams and staff. These positive incentives can help combat safety cynicism and build stronger safety cultures.
Given the impact of stress on cybersecurity behaviors, particularly in remote or hybrid work environments, companies should encourage employees to take regular breaks between virtual meetings or have "meeting without video" days to prevent cognitive overload resulting from Zoom fatigue. Also, companies can implement innovative technology solutions to intervene when an error is about to occur, prompting individuals to make safe decisions using certain cybersecurity tools.
Company leaders should also educate employees about advanced phishing attack types, such as Business Email Compromise and account takeover, and new channels through which cybercriminals may target them, such as smishing. By providing employees with knowledge on what to watch out for, why they may be targeted, and what steps to take if something seems suspicious, they will be better equipped to identify attacks and report them to IT teams confidently.
You can reduce the impact and cost of an attack by preparing correctly. Implementing more robust practices can reduce the likelihood of receiving email threats and minimize any damage. Such tactics include:
Enhance Your Email Security Strategy
Many companies believe that endpoint threat protection alone is sufficient to keep data secure. While it's an excellent place to start, endpoint security can't keep up with new threats. Additional layers of protection and experts can monitor issues and mitigate them. This extra protection must be able to adapt and learn from the latest threats and give you the information needed to make informed decisions.
Protect Email with Sender Authentication
Sender authentication allows you to verify that emails received are actually from the company or person listed in the email address or signature. This protects your email account against phishing attacks and email fraud. Three sender authentication standards and protocols are used in this process: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. SPF prevents people from sending emails pretending to be another person. DKIM verifies that the email received has not been altered or fabricated. DMARC combines SPF with DKIM, giving domain owners greater email control.
Invest in Fully-Managed vCISO Email Security Services
For organizations to protect their business email from advanced attacks, they need a managed vCISO email security solution that offers multiple layers of adaptive protection. This solution should be designed to protect against specific threats and provide the expertise and support required to safeguard sensitive information and detect and stop threats in real time.
New Phishing Campaign Exploits Cybersecurity Tool, Raises Alarms
Cybercriminals have created a new phishing campaign that impersonates Flipper Zero, a popular cybersecurity tool that white-hat hackers and penetration testers use. Flipper Zero is so popular that cybercriminals have created a fake shop pretending to sell the company to trick people into giving them their personal information and cryptocurrency payments.
The scam was discovered after three fake Twitter accounts and two fake Flipper Zero stores were spotted. These fake accounts are similar to the Flipper Zero accounts, except they use a capital "i" instead of a lowercase "l" in their handle and website. The bogus accounts were responding to tweets, particularly those that asked about the availability of Flipper Zero. The email address listed in the bogus accounts directs users to a fake shop that pretends to sell Flipper Zero at its market price of $199. Victims are asked to provide their email addresses, full names, and shipping addresses, then pay via cryptocurrency.
Potential customers of Flipper Zero should only be cautious about online interactions with the company if they visit the official store. Using the Flipper Zero scam, attackers can take control of various devices, including smart home devices, door locks, and security cameras. They can then use these devices to spy on victims or carry out malicious activities.
Additionally, malware can be installed on devices using the Flipper Zero scam, designed to cause harm to the victim’s device and steal data. Attackers can also use the Flipper Zero scam to hijack wireless signals, giving them access to private information transmitted over Wi-Fi networks.
It is necessary to understand how easily other companies can be copied and turned into scams so that you can do your best to avoid falling victim to such websites and accounts.
Keep Learning About the Best Practices for Cybersecurity
To ensure job security and business email security, organizations must invest in comprehensive cloud email security software, and employees must utilize the best cybersecurity tools, understanding the possibility that both the safety of their company and their jobs are on the line.
- Learn more about effectively protecting your business from ransomware.
- Improve your email security posture to protect against attacks by following best practices for email security.
- Keeping the integrity of your email safe requires securing the cloud with spam filtering and enterprise-grade anti-spam services.
- Get the latest updates on how to stay safe online.
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