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The Cybercrime Pandemic: Tackling The Workplace

As the COVID-19 pandemic gradually begins to ease, another global crisis rages unabated: cybercrime.

In the US, the FBI’s cybersecurity in-tray is overflowing, with a 69% increase in complaints between 2019 and 2020. In the UK, last year was the busiest on record in terms of cyber-attacks on businesses, while globally, reports of hacking surged 125% during the first half of 2021.

Who’s to blame for this wave of digital wrongdoing? The answer should be obvious: the keyboard criminals who want to steal their way into ill-gotten gains. And yet, the blame is regularly put on employees.

You unwittingly clicked on a suspect link or made an unauthorised download. We’ve all been there. Human error can strike at any moment, and rarely is there malicious intent lurking in the background. They’re just people, and people make mistakes.

If an organisation is targeting its employees over cyber concerns, it’s doing something wrong. Here’s how to set things right.

Stop the blame game

Perhaps a new employee wants to sync their personal account to a work device, unaware that corporate data will automatically upload in the process. Or maybe it’s a remote working colleague who’s accessing company servers unofficially while at home.

These may sound like minor infractions, but when they come to light, the disciplinary consequences can be serious. A recent study found that almost half of upper-level managers would reprimand an employee over data loss, while 25% would likely fire the staff member in question.

This culture of blame risks creating negativity and bad feeling towards bosses, which, in turn, can lead to reduced levels of productivity. In fact, research indicates that anxiety around hacking and cybersecurity is a greater source of employee stress than owning up to mistakes or sharing private emails with their manager.

Perhaps most damaging, however, is the blame game’s tendency to pit employees against in-house digital security teams. For a company’s cyber defence to function properly, colleagues at all levels must be on the same page and willing to cooperate.


By Miles Tappin, Vp of EMEA of ThreatConnect. Read more of the story here: