The task of keeping sensitive data, computers and networks safe from hackers and other cyber criminals is never-ending. Every time security systems like firewalls and virus detection software are updated, the bad guys invent new ways to get around them. You’d probably be surprised, however, to learn that the culprit in almost all cybersecurity breaches isn’t the malevolent character in a dark basement.

It’s you.

That’s right. The most likely culprit in any cybersecurity breach is the average user. Human error accounts for 95% of all hacks and other cyber security issues. What’s worse is that hackers know this and plan their strategies around it. They use clever social engineering tactics to lead unsuspecting users right down the primrose path until they hand over all their most private information.

Luckily, Macro Connect is here to help you and your staff become more savvy technology users. With a new strategic partnership, we’re able to offer a new training program that will help you and your staff develop safer habits and learn how to identify these schemes before it’s too late. Keep reading to learn more about this great new cybersecurity program and start reducing your risk of a breach today!

Cyber Crime is Growing Exponentially

We’ve talked a lot about Cyber Security over the last few months, from educating students to educating yourself. But it’s a problem that continues to grow. In 2019, Cyber Security breaches in the financial world grew by 1,000%. And according to Cybercrime Magazine, damages from cybercrime is expected to top $6 TRILLION by the end of 2021.

Municipal and government organizations are also experiencing the effects of this digital crime wave because they save valuable personal information about their residents or members. A recent Wall Street Journal Article revealed that New Orleans declared a state of emergency on December 13, 2019 and shut down virtually all computer systems after security staff detected phishing and ransomware attacks on its networks. With most systems expected to be back online on January 31, 2020, that means the attacks shut down the network for almost two months. Can your school or business afford to be offline that long?

The Answer Is Training & Planning

In response to these cyber-attacks, FBI authorities and other experts encourage staff training, data backups, and incident response planning. Together these three prongs will help reduce your exposure to attacks, take away the power of your data being taken hostage, and help you react faster and less emotionally in the event of an attack:

  • Training: Since most cyber attacks happen when unwitting users hand over sensitive information through well-disguised schemes, training is the bedrock of all cyber security. If passwords, social security numbers, credit card numbers, and other private information are kept private, there’s nothing to be stolen.
  • Data Backups: A huge part of cyber crime is tied to ransomware. In these attacks, criminals take your data hostage by encrypting, or encoding, your data, making it completely unusable until you pay them to decode it. That can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars if you decide to pay and there’s no guarantee that they’ll decode it once you’ve paid. But if you regularly back up your data, ransomware becomes powerless. You can re-institute the spare copy of all your data to return to business as usual as quickly as possible.
  • Incident Response Planning: When your system shuts down, or bank accounts are suddenly empty, it’s hard not to panic. It’s a terrifying experience, but a knee-jerk, emotional reaction is almost always the worst reaction. What you need at that moment is a plan to guide your response. When you have a detailed response plan in place, you can make calm, calculated decisions that give you the best chance of a positive outcome. And if you’ve taken the time to write down a plan, you may already have a solution in place to mitigate the problem in the first place.

Macro Connect can help you with all three prongs of Cyber Crime Preparedness, but this post is focused on the first prong of training. So let’s dive deeper into how we help your staff use technology more safely.

Introducing usecure

Last summer we teased that a new training program and partnership was coming soon. Over the course of the fall, we finalized that partnership and are excited to announce that we’re bringing the powerful capabilities of usecure to our clients. usecure is a global provider of innovative cybersecurity awareness solutions that center around empowering users to make better security decisions in their everyday life. Their platform tests, assesses, and trains employees on their cyber security habits so that they can become a security asset to your organization instead of a liability.

The usecure training platform focuses on a four-stage approach:

  • Evaluate: usecure starts by evaluating staff member’s cyber security knowledge and habits. This stage assesses each user’s specific vulnerabilities across 12 different domains: Phishing, Secure Passwords, Physical Security, Home Security, Working Remotely, Public WiFi, Social Engineering, Social media, Mobile Device Security, Cloud Security, Removable Media, and Internet & Email Usage.
  • Educate: Once a user’s risk level is determined, usecure sends individually-tailored training modules to help them improve where they are lacking. Training is broken up into digestible modules so that you can work them into your schedule and retain the information to build new habits.
  • Simulate: As part of the program, users are given secret tests on their new skills. These simulated attacks give them the opportunity to demonstrate their new found cyber security knowledge without the risk of an actual breach. Their performance is documented and tracked over time with the goal of steady improvement.
  • Reporting: Throughout the year, your designated leadership team receives detailed reports on how employees are performing, learning, and growing as cyber security assets. If individuals are not completing the prescribed training or continue to fall short in certain security categories, you will have the information you need to address it directly.

Get usecure For Your Organization

Now is the best time to start taking Cyber Security seriously. The problems and risks are only going to grow in the future. If you’re ready to start the conversation, reach out to our Client Solutions team to see how your school or company can start benefiting from the usecure platform. We’ll help you put together a security scorecard so that you can see your real risk exposure. Empowered by that knowledge, you can put an action plan in place and become a more secure organization so that you don’t end up a headline in the rising tide of digital fraud and theft.

Test Your Skills Right Now

If you can’t wait another second, we have a quick test to help you gauge your Cyber Security knowledge right now. Can you tell which emails are legitimate and which are fake? Put your skills to the test here.