Which of your employees are most at risk of cyberattacks?

Which of your employees are most at risk of cyberattacks?

In today’s digital age, cyberattacks are a constant threat to businesses of all sizes and industries. While cybercriminals target entire systems and specific individuals alike, some employees or roles within an organization may be more vulnerable to cyberattacks than others. This susceptibility can be due to a variety of factors, such as users’ access to sensitive information, lack of cybersecurity training, or the nature of work. 


In this article, we’ll explore the types of employees or roles that are highly susceptible to cyberattacks and the steps your organization can take to mitigate the risks associated with these vulnerabilities.


C-suite executives

C-suite executives and their assistants are often targeted by cybercriminals because of their high profile and the perceived value of the knowledge they possess. As top-level decision-makers, C-suite executives have access to highly sensitive and valuable information, including financial data, trade secrets, and strategic plans. Their assistants, who often manage their schedules and communication channels, may also have access to confidential information and important contacts. 


As such, these groups of people may be targeted with phishing emails, social engineering tactics, or other sophisticated attacks designed to compromise their devices and steal sensitive data. 


New employees

New employees or interns in a company can be particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks for several reasons. Firstly, they may not be familiar with the company’s cybersecurity policies and procedures, which makes them more likely to make mistakes or fall prey to social engineering tactics that cybercriminals use. 


Also, new employees and interns may be eager to impress and gain the trust of their colleagues, which can lead them to take risks or ignore warning signs that a message or email is suspicious. This eagerness to prove themselves may also make them more likely to bypass security measures, such as password policies or firewalls, to access sensitive information that they’re not supposed to access.


Finance and accounting departments

The finance and accounting departments of most organizations are prime targets for cybercriminals because they handle a variety of financial information: payment data, bank account details, and financial records. They also often process large amounts of transactions, which compels cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities in payment systems.


These departments may also use outdated software or hardware that were not designed with modern cybersecurity risks in mind, making them vulnerable to cybercrime. What’s more, financial processes require a high degree of human involvement and difficulty, thus making them more prone to errors — and human error remains the major cause of most cyber incidents. According to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, phishing scams, business email compromise attempts, and stolen credentials are behind more than 80% of security breaches reported.


IT staff

IT personnel are responsible for maintaining the security of the company’s digital infrastructure, which makes them the perfect prey for cybercriminals seeking to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data or systems. They also have administrative privileges that allow them to change network configurations or access confidential information, making them valuable targets for cyberattacks.


How can you keep vulnerable employees secure?

Here are some ways for each of the mentioned groups to toughen their defenses against cyberattacks:

C-suite executives and their assistants:

  • Conduct regular security awareness training for all employees, including C-suite executives and their assistants, to educate them on the latest cyberthreats and how to avoid them.
  • Limit the amount of sensitive information shared over email and other communication channels, and use secure file-sharing platforms when necessary.
  • Implement access controls to limit the amount of sensitive information that C-suite executives and their assistants can access, and monitor their activities closely to detect and respond to potential security breaches.

New employees:

  • Provide cybersecurity training for new employees and interns as part of their onboarding process.
  • Restrict their access to sensitive information and ensure that your company has robust access controls in place.
  • Strictly enforce using proper communication channels, such as company email or secure messaging apps, for work-related communication.

Finance and accounting departments:

  • Regularly update financial systems and software applications to ensure that they are patched against known vulnerabilities.
  • Use encryption and secure file sharing platforms to protect sensitive financial data in transit and at rest.
  • Implement multifactor authentication for all financial transactions.

IT staff:

  • Use strong encryption to safeguard data in transit and at rest.
  • Update software and firmware regularly to protect all systems and devices from known vulnerabilities.
  • Use intrusion detection and prevention systems to detect and respond to potential security breaches in real time.


Related reading: 7 Ways to make cybersecurity understandable for everyone in your organization

Consult NetWize’s team to learn how you can increase your organization’s protection against online threats. Request a free consultation today.

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