Time and money spent on accredited training for staff on cyber security is the best way to prevent hacks and avoid damage to the reputation of your organisation.
That is the finding of a survey carried out among small business employees by IT providers and security experts Zenzero Solutions.
The company carried out a series of phishing exercises for clients who asked for their IT security processes to be tested. This involved sending fake emails asking for information such as names, passwords or financial data to around 3,500 employees.
It found those who had gone through Zenzero’s education under the UK government’s certification, Cyber Essentials, were a third less likely to open fake emails and none of these had input data despite requests to do so.
Zenzero cyber security advisor Russell Howarth said human error was the main reason systems were hacked.
He said: “ Businesses have to educate their staff to be aware of these phishing scams and to always double check before opening an email. Certainly, they should not be inputting data without understanding the consequences.
“ Our survey was done at the request of our clients. It wasn’t about catching people out but simply to flag up the dangers of opening emails when you don’t really know or haven’t checked where they have come from. Larger businesses are more likely to be able to afford systems which can stop this happening – although they too can be fooled. For businesses without a dedicated IT department it is so important to educate staff which is why we provide training to ensure they don’t get caught out and that is where our services come in.”
The survey found the top five fake emails most likely to be clicked on were when hackers used well known names such as Amazon, Ebay and Google Chrome. An email claiming to be an HR Leadership Survey was also opened as were the ones which told the users they had CCTV footage of them on file.
However the email which convinced most people was one which claimed to be from Microsoft Office 365. It told the reader their personal details needed to be re-entered because they’d had a fraudulent login. Not only did some employees click on the emails but some even submitted data when asked for information.
Mr Howarth said: “ None of the employees at companies which had the Cyber Essentials certification inputted any data which shows how valuable it is to go through the scheme. It makes businesses and therefore staff more aware of the dangers and more confident in taking time to double check when they see something which doesn’t look quite right. It’s a simple process and goes a long way to helping people understand how to protect their data and that of their customers and why what they do is so important.”
About Zenzero Solutions
Zenzero is a leading business IT solutions provider which was founded by former software engineer and businesswoman Anne Tasker to ensure SME’s have access to cost-effective and reliable IT to keep their businesses online and achieve their goals with cutting edge technology, state of the art security and expert technical support.
While other IT providers focus solely on the technology used by their customers, we offer additional relevant services to help them with productivity and security. We continually invest in new solutions to enhance the level of security like bespoke GDPR compliant software and collaborate with sector experts to offer the government backed Cyber Essentials certification to keep safe theirs and their customers valuable data.
Zenzero has been trading since 2004, and has built a strong reputation for delivering operational excellence. We are dedicated to helping our customers succeed in achieving their goals – so whatever challenges they face, IT won’t be one of them.
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