Avoiding The Risks of Cyber-Crime in the Public Sector
Public Sector organisations are under an increasing number of attacks from cyber-criminals, often being specifically targeted by fraudsters who perceive them to be “easier targets”, mostly due to older infrastructures and less-than-robust cyber security awareness training. This article highlights the risks involved, and more importantly what you can to to counter them, whilst introducing the concept of the ‘Human Firewall’.
Why Are Public Sector Organisations Being Targeted?
Whilst it’s true that cyber-attacks affect every sector, Public Sector organisations are targeted specifically as they are perceived by cyber-criminals to be “easy targets” that have large sums of money. In recent years, attacks on non-profits, government agencies, and other institutions within the public sector have skyrocketed. This is especially true when it comes to data breaches and identity theft.
We’ve whittled it down to three main reasons:
- Public Sector organisations often collect and store a wealth of sensitive personal information
- This information is incredibly valuable to many cyber-criminals for them to take advantage of
- Government identity theft is one of the most popular and fastest growing forms of identity theft
What’s the Risk to the Public Sector?
18% of UK public sector organisations suffered over 1,000 cyber attacks each in 2018. Public sector organisations endure the same financial problems and damage to reputation and staff morale that any private company suffers when cyber-crime is committed against it. One such example of a prominent attack was the WannaCry ransomware attack on the NHS (in 2017), it is said to have cost the NHS over £92 million, not to mention the huge impact on staff working at the time and public morale that followed the news breaking.
Cyber-Crime is a Bigger Threat Than Ever With COVID-19 and the Rise of Remote Working
The National Cyber Security Centre, the cyber arm of GCHQ, has repeatedly warned of significantly increased criminal activity aiming to commit cyber-crime that exploits the fears of COVID-19 as a tactic. With an unprecedented rise in the number of employees all over the world that are now working from home, hackers have been working overtime to take advantage of this situation, and organisations need to make sure they remain more vigilant than ever, with as many layers of defence as possible.
Which Cyber-Threats are we Talking About Exactly?
- Social Engineering – A manipulation technique that exploits human error to gain private information, access, or valuables that an employee probably shouldn’t be giving up. According to a study by IBM, 95% of ALL cyber-breaches are due to human error. In cyber-crime, these “human hacking” scams tend to lure unsuspecting users into exposing data, spreading malware infections, or giving access to restricted systems.
- Phishing – According the the Wall Street Journal, 97% of all cyber-attacks start with a Phishing email. When you think about it, there’s no wonder really when you consider that most of us are using email daily for both personal and business use. See our Blog Post: A Beginner’s Guide to… Phishing for more information.
What is a Human Firewall?
Your organisation should already be using multiple layers of technology to help your protect against cyber threats, including email filters, advanced threat protection, and firewalls to catch phishing emails; however, no technology can stop every single threat from slipping through the net.
With well thought out end-user security awareness training, your employees can become your Human Firewall – one of the strongest lines of defence for all organisations, whether private or public sector. Your staff need end-user cyber-security awareness training to be able to recognise the risks presented by social engineering techniques, phishing emails, and many other types of cyber threat.
To help organisations with their end-user cyber-security awareness training, for a limited period we’re offering free fully-featured access to the E-ZU eLearning Portal for up to 100 staff members…
The E-ZU eLearning Portal – FREE for 100 of your staff members for 14 Days
To help organisations with their end-user cyber-security awareness training, for a limited period we’re offering free fully-fledged access to the E-ZU Advanced eLearning Platform for up to 100 staff members.
Our free service includes full, unrestricted access for up to 100 users/staff members within an organisation. There is no obligation to purchase anything thereafter, no credit card information is needed, and no auto-renewals of any kind.
The free service offers a fully-featured service that contains in-depth training courses for End-User Security Awareness, the entire Office 365 platform (including Microsoft Teams), and much more – across 5,000 up-to-date training videos. We will also provide free set-up consultation with one of our technical consultants to make sure your users can take full advantage of the training that matters most to your organisation. Find out more about the E-ZU eLearning Portal