2021 Trends Guide - Human Risk Management

Posted by Michael Krutikov
December 08, 2020

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Human Risk Management - The Evolution of Cybersecurity


Welcome to the first in the 7 Essential Human Risk Management Trends for 2021 Blog Series

2020 reminded us that even though things change, the ultimate impact of challenges and the success of the response is most determined by humans. In cybersecurity, even though we throw multiple layers of technology at the problem, more than 80% of breaches are caused by human error. It’s easy to see why so many enterprises say more technology should be the answer because people are too unpredictable, not tech-savvy enough, and that changing behavior is too difficult. 


Why Your Cybersecurity Technology Stack Isn’t Enough

Did you know that the average enterprise has 75 different cybersecurity products in place? One might think that we’re getting better at cybersecurity, and in many ways we are. We have fantastic antivirus, malware, advanced threat detection and prevention tools, identity and access management, SIEM and SOAR products. These technologies are doing a better job of recognizing and blocking zero-day and advanced threats than ever before. 

Yet, the cost of a data breach is higher than ever, and most organizations have stopped thinking if a breach will occur, and have resigned themselves to when a breach will happen. It doesn’t have to be this way. With all this cybersecurity intelligence at our disposal, why are most of us still relying on old-school security training? Slideware and once-a-year compliance checklists just don’t cut it. 


It’s Time to Do Something Different 

Human Risk Management is the first trend and the central theme for the 7 Essential Human Risk Management Trends for 2021. The cybersecurity awareness training industry will never be the same. It shouldn’t be, it can’t be. In many ways, awareness training somehow ended up becoming the goal, when changing behavior was what it was always intended to be.

Security awareness training gets us to the point where 79% of employees say they can recognize a phishing message. The problem is that 49% of this same group admitted they have clicked on links from unknown senders while at work. 

We need to be compliant with necessary guidelines and regulations - but the intent of those rules is to make employees more secure, so they know how to recognize and properly react to potential threats. 


Why Compliance-based Security Awareness Training Fails

Despite our best wishes, cybercriminals are actually quite smart. They research cybersecurity technologies to identify product-level settings and data retention policies and deploy multi-stage, delayed detection attacks that strategically piece together an attack without drawing enough attention to their activities. Even the best, layered-defense strategy isn’t enough to prevent these because they just need one person to let a tiny piece of code into the network. They don’t need to breach the CEO or head of finance to get what they’re after, and they will socially engineer their way into going after employees that aren’t expecting to even be targeted. 

This is why every employee needs to be ready. When the focus has been, and for many organizations remains, “are we compliant?” - this allows cybercriminals to easily stay ahead of the least common denominator of “meets compliance”. We need to be focused on the ultimate question, “are my employees less likely to fall for a breach attempt?”.  This is Human Risk Management.


Turning Humans Into Your Greatest Advantage

You need every employee to be enabled, to be your security champion. The way to get there is to leverage your personnel, take a scientific cybersecurity approach to analyze human risk factors, combine that with ground-breaking, engaging, experiential learning, and the ability to measure its effectiveness and ROI to give you proven, lasting change that puts an end to cybersecurity breaches in your enterprise.

Here are some of the key items your Human Risk Management platform should deliver: 

  • Automates the data integration to help you identify problem areas about which users and groups need to be strengthened
  • Personalizes the type and level of security training to your audience so they know what to look out for and how to respond
  • Trains for the next threat with current, updated content, not just check-the-box compliance modules
  • Engages your users with a fully gamified platform to improve understanding and retention.

It’s time to bring about proven, lasting behavior and culture change. People aren’t the problem, they are the solution. 

Want to know more? Check out the 7 Essential Trends of Human Risk Management for 2021 eBook.


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