Increase resilience: Cyber security awareness protects against infections
In January 2021, the BKA reported a great success: As part of international cooperation between law enforcement authorities, it was possible to smash the infrastructure of the Emotet malware. For Germany alone, the damage caused by infections with Emotet is estimated at 14.5 million euros.
At the same time, another infectious disease is changing our daily life and work. Due to Corona, the threat situation in the digital space is worsening. Employees work in the home office, sometimes outside of the company’s own, protected IT infrastructures, and mobile devices are increasingly being used. Criminals use the global pandemic situation technically and, above all, as a thematic starting point for social engineering and other attacks.
There is a simple way to protect companies against digital infections: Raise the awareness of all employees in the company – create cyber security awareness.
According to Bitkom, spending in the area of cyber security in the pandemic year 2020 will be invested in an amount of 5.2 billion euros. What is not quantified here is the specific share that is allotted to training and sensitization of the workforce in companies.
According to a survey by KnowBe4, only 47 percent of the companies surveyed carry out cyber security training, but 67 percent of the companies cite the danger from negligent users as one of their greatest fears. There is a clear gap here between fears and reality, as very few attacks are actually caused or intentionally brought about by internal colleagues.
In the vast majority of cases, carelessness on the part of the workforce – i.e. a lack of awareness – is the reason why attackers find their way into the company. The approach to this is to sensitize all people in the company to a conscious, responsible handling of general IT compliance in the company and the current challenges in the context of Corona.
- Tracy Varnum, RSA
“If enterprise risk management does not talk to IT risk management, inconsistencies arise in the associated business continuity plans,” warns Tracy Varnum, senior manager software sales at RSA. “One result of this is that a lot is made overlapping and different measurement criteria are applied. Ultimately, it ends in chaos.”
- Klaus Seidl, Mimecast
“Cyber resilience strategies are usually combined with email security, network security, web security and data backup and recovery solutions,” reports Klaus Seidl, Vide President DACH at Mimecast.
- Stefan Buchta, Axians
“For me, resilience is the overriding planning of how to deal with emergencies,” says Stefan Buchta, Sales Manager South at Axians IT Security, in the ChannelPartner workshop.
- Stanislaw Panow, netcos
“As a service provider, we are usually the drivers behind issues such as cyber resilience,” says Stanislaw Panow, managing director of the Munich IT service provider netcos. “It was not until the corona crisis that customers began to think about it on their own.”
- Robert Meiners, MTI Technology
“For me, resilience is what comes after high availability,” says Robert Meiners, Team Lead Presales at MTI Technology, setting the bar high.
- Tobias Dames, Bechtle
obias Dames takes the same line as Vorholt: “In the corporate environment, unfortunately, those responsible still rarely think about resilience. Creating a plan when the emergency is there is too late. It would be important to start much earlier and much more fundamentally ask yourself the question: What are my essential points in the company? What do I even need to be able to continue? “advises Tobias Dames, Head of Competence Center Cyber Resilience at Bechtle.
- Nils Vorholt, DextraData
“There is seldom an interdisciplinary resilience approach aligned with corporate strategy, process and organizational development,” observed Nils Vorholt, Business Consultant at DextraData.
- Rainer Funk, Controlware
“We try to provide holistic advice. High availability, business continuity, disaster recovery on the technical side are naturally part of this, as well as awareness training and training for employees,” warns Rainer Funk, Solution Manager IT Security at Controlware.
With the help of a cyber security check, companies can determine the degree of maturity of their cybersecurity and receive an overview of the specific need for action. Continuous awareness training is intended to strengthen the risk and safety awareness of each individual employee.
The computer-based Cyber Security Awareness Training begins with a placement test and is based on the level of knowledge of the individual participants. In this way, the strengths, weaknesses and the individual learner type of the employee are taken into account and training tailored to the respective person is guaranteed. In addition, the training also takes the internal organizational and security structures as well as the culture of the company to heart.
Overall, each participant goes through training, testing and analysis phases several times. The training content tailored to him, from explanatory videos to animations, is diverse and requires the active interaction of the employee. Playful components and small competitions are also used, which are intended to provide additional motivation.
After a completed training unit, the participant’s level of knowledge is checked and queried in the test phase. In the subsequent analysis phase, an attempt is made to identify the employee’s remaining gaps and to close them through training and simulation exercises.
This is practiced, for example, through simulated attacks in the direct work environment. Employees receive unannounced phishing emails to their business email address. Ideally, you should recognize this as such and report it to the responsible IT security officer.
- Der ChannelPartner-Workshop IAM/PAM …
… took place digitally at the end of 2020.
- Doris Fiala, Channel Sales Manager DACH at Wallix:
“Cooperation with the system integrators is essential for us.”
- Michael Kleist, Regional Director DACH at CyberArk:
“Which identities have which access to which resources?”
- Patrick Schmidt, Distribution Account Manager bei RSA:
“In principle, all new digital identities pose a threat.”
- Stefan Rabben, Area Sales Director DACH and Eastern Europe at Wallix:
“Access Management – the secure link between users and systems.”
- Manfred Koller, Channel Manager DACH at CyberArk
“Software can provide the system administrator with useful support.”
- Sebastian Ganschow, Director Cybersecurity Solutions Germany at NTT
“A central identity and access management platform for schools.”
- Werner Schwarz, Vice President Corporate Strategy & Innovation bei Cancom
“We have to prioritize the security requirements of our customers.”
- Christian Schwaller, ACP:
“The success of Microsoft Office 365 shows us how.”
- Carsten Dibbern, Solution Manager at Computacenter
“Access Management in der Cloud.”
- Ivan Vukadin, Solution Advisor Security & Data Management bei Software One:
“As a system house, it is our job to determine where the risks actually lie.”
- Pascal Kube, Managing Director at Mahr EDV:
“Almost never a direct request from IAM solutions.”
- Thomas Bursy, Team Manager Solution Sales – Security bei Software One:
“We don’t find a green field with our customers, but a hodgepodge of different systems.”
- Andreas Schmidt, Sales Security-Manager bei SoftwareOne:
“The biggest challenge is clear communication.”
- Peter Marwan, ChannelPartner:
“Integration is essential.”
- Ronald Wiltscheck, ChannelPartner:
“Constantly increasing number of digital identities – and that also in the home office.”
Ultimately, awareness is generated through active practice and daily experience – not through one-sided frontal teaching with PowerPoint slides.
An important prerequisite for establishing sustainable security awareness is the commitment of the entire company. Starting with the board of directors and management, who act as role models and exemplify a safety culture, awareness must run through all business areas and reach every single employee.
In addition, regular reminders, confrontations, and dealing with security threats are critical keys to success. This is made possible by the constant repetition of the training, test and analysis phases. The current status is regularly reassessed and optimizations can be carried out in a targeted manner.
However, there is no final state that includes knowledge of all sources of danger on the Internet and protects against all imaginable cybercriminal attacks. Hackers repeatedly use new strategies to gain access to sensitive company data. The only protection is the sensitization of each individual in order to create an awareness of dangers and to anchor a sustainable safety culture in the minds of the employees.
More about cyber resilience:
Opportunities for the channel
Most powerful weapon against cyber attacks
Corona crisis as Bescheuniger
Secure digital identities