Be Secure Online Blog

You're the weakest link! 

employees human error cyber breach, weakest link, anne robinson
Nasty presenter Anne Robinson loved ferreting the weakest link.

Human Error is the leading cause of cybercrime breaches, hacking etc. 

While technology has advanced rapidly, we humans have not kept up and never will. We remain the weakest link. As a result, cybersecurity breaches are commonplace and their serious consequences such as this week's breaches in the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) and UK Electoral Commission.

  • Data theft
  • Financial loss
  • Reputational damage.

Humans really are the weakest link. For example, I used to be insecure until I saw my password. Or "Honey, I shrunk the business because I emailed our customer list to our competitors". 

  • CR7 is an ageing footballer, not a password
  • No more cats' names
  • Birthdays are great but are not passwords
  • Iloveyou, maybe so, but not a password

Use strong, unique passwords that are difficult to guess. Get a proper password manager. Try Keeper Password

Humans fall for Phishing.

Another common human error is falling for phishing scams. Hackers use phishing scams to trick people into giving away their sensitive information. 

Phishing scams can come in the many forms 

  • E-mails - Phishing  
  • Text messages - Smishing as in (SMS) 
  • Phone calls Vishing. (Voice)

Scammers pose as trustworthy individuals or organisations to gain your trust. Then use the details to access their accounts. Inboxguard Link.

inboxguard says its safe to open email
Making it absolutely clear for employees - Is email safe to open? Lets double check first!


Cybersecurity education and training reduce the risk of human error. Education and training can teach individuals how to identify and avoid Phishing scams, 

  • Create strong passwords 
  • Keep software and systems up-to-date.
  • C-Suite fraud

It is important to have clear security protocols in place and enforce them consistently. Use strong passwords and keep software up-to-date to reduce cybersecurity breaches. Phishing loves Human Error

Human error plays a significant role in phishing attacks. Phishing deceives people into clicking on harmful links or revealing confidential information. 

Fake websites that look identical to legitimate ones or emails that look like they are from a trusted source, like Sony or Microsoft. These techniques only work if the victim falls for them and that's human error again. Employers need to train employees in this area.

Verify the Source

They commonly trick victims into clicking on a link or opening an attachment without verifying the source. They may disclose sensitive information such as login credentials or financial data.

Be Aware

  • Get used to double checking
  • Know what criminals can get up to
  • Verify an email, text, ring, or message the sender for validation
  • Check out a strange, new website first

Remember phishing is socially engineered fraud and preys on people's emotions and curiosity to deceive them into: 

Clicking on harmful links 
Reveal confidential information.

Corporate cyber breaches are a growing concern for businesses of all sizes. These breaches result in the loss of sensitive information, financial losses, and damage to a company's reputation. Companies must take steps to secure their data and regularly train employees. According to insurance underwriters, small firms in Northern Europe typically file claims amounting to around €/£550k on average. The payouts are normally very modest indeed and can be nothing where the underwriter finds no reasonable cyber security steps were taken, in their opinion.

  • No GDPR 
  • No security nett, 
  • No password system, 
  • No cyber training 

In conclusion, human error is the leading cause of cyber security issues.  

Articles of interest

Articles, links and connections from the BeSecureOnline site you might find interesting

  1. Even IT pros don't know where to start. Start here! 
  2. Learn more here about Inboxguard - Data Sheet
  3. Employees don't really care!  Staff! The Elephant in the room
  4. Phishing kills! How Phishing Works!
  5. German Insurer Allianz says  - Businesses fear a catastrophic IT failure the most
  6. Basil loves cyber, Not! Basil does Fawlty cyber
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