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Why front-line staff are your secret weapon against hackers and fraudsters

Posted: Thu, 21 Apr 2016 11:51

With cyber security breaches becoming an increasing threat to small businesses, the role that front line IT service desk staff have to play in maintaining security is ever more vital.

When it comes to minimizing damage wrought by a cyber security breach, a swift response can make all the difference. However, Verizon's 2015 data breach report found that "unfortunately, the proportion of breaches discovered within days still falls well below that of time to compromise," and further research suggests that the typical gap between a data breach and its discovery can be anywhere from 80-200 days. Each day that the breach goes undetected increases the risk of irreparable damage to the firm's finances and reputation

"The major breaches such as Target, Sony and Anthem damage brand reputation and consumer trust, but they also have a real impact on the bottom line," said Eric Chiu, president and co-founder of HyTrust. "The $162 million spent so far by Target is just a drop in the bucket given the class-action lawsuits by consumers as well as the recent court ruling that banks can go after Target to recoup their losses."

Staff training vital to combat security breaches

Many breaches - such as the Target breach which affected 70 million customers in 2014 - occurred in part because employees unwittingly either provided sensitive information to hackers, or clicked on malicious links in emails. Ensuring that all staff are fully trained in cyber security alertness and best practices will go a long way towards protecting your business from a devastating attack. And because the threats from hackers and fraudsters are always changing, it's important that staff training is also regularly updated.

With time to detection being of the essence, the IT service desk can play an essential role in detecting any potential security threat early on.

Service desk staff are in an optimum position to identify strange patterns or trends within the company's IT system which could prove to be an early indication of an attack. If properly trained to spot these early warnings and escalate them to the right security experts, front-line employees can become a powerful first line of defence. As Roberto Casetta, International Senior Vice President & GM at Heat Software, explains: "Ultimately, the net effect [of front-line staff training] is having a service desk that is always on the front foot, identifying and responding to threats proactively."

Prevent data loss and security breaches with DeltaNet training

Training from DeltaNet is available online, whenever you need it. This means you can easily provide training for all your front-line staff, including every new joiner, so that your team is always alert to evolving risks. Browse our Compliance eLearning, including courses on Information Security, Data Protection and Fraud Awareness.

Tags: Compliance, cyber security