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Why Humans are Your Biggest Vulnerability and What You Can Do About it

By

Inbal Meshulam

| June 09, 2024
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The significant and evolving security risks mobile devices pose when it comes to safeguarding sensitive corporate data are forcing organizations to constantly reassess their approach to mobile security. But while technology is evolving to try to minimize the threat, the human factor remains the weakest link for organizations. 

The numbers are alarming: the World Economic Forum’s “Global Risks Report 2022” shows a staggering 95% of cybersecurity breaches stem from human error. This isn’t just a statistic – it’s a harsh reality. Take the infamous 2017 Equifax breach, where a single employee’s failure to install a security patch exposed the personal information of over 143 million people.

As we integrate more advanced technologies into our lives, the human element in cybersecurity remains a critical vulnerability. Large language models like ChatGPT and deepfakes can be incredibly powerful tools, for example, but they can also be weaponized by attackers. These sophisticated techniques can create hyper-realistic phishing attempts, emails, or even videos that could potentially bypass even the most careful user.

When assessing the human threat it is important to consider the scale of the following vulnerabilities and how susceptible your organization is to them.

Vulnerability #1:  Lack of Awareness and Training

One of the primary reasons humans are a major security vulnerability is the lack of awareness and training. Employees often underestimate the importance of mobile security and are unaware of the risks associated with using their devices for work. This lack of knowledge leads to risky behaviors, such as downloading unverified apps, connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks, and failing to update software regularly.

Vulnerability #2: Social Engineering Attacks

Social engineering exploits our tendency to trust, and uses this to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential information or performing actions that compromise security. Phishing emails, fraudulent text messages, and fake apps are common tactics used by cybercriminals to exploit our innate trust and curiosity.

Vulnerability #3:  Weak Password Practices

Despite repeated warnings, weak password practices remain a common issue. Many employees use simple, easily guessable passwords or reuse the same passwords across multiple accounts. This practice makes it easier for attackers to gain access to sensitive data. Furthermore, the reluctance to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) exacerbates the problem, leaving accounts more vulnerable to unauthorized access.

Vulnerability #4:  Device Loss and Theft

When an employee loses a device, the data stored on it can easily fall into the wrong hands if the device is not adequately protected. Without proper encryption and remote wiping capabilities, the loss or theft of a mobile device can lead to severe data breaches.

Vulnerability #5:  Unauthorized Access and Usage

Employees sometimes share their devices with family members or colleagues without considering the security implications. This practice can lead to unauthorized access to corporate data and applications. Additionally, using personal devices for work purposes (BYOD) without proper security measures can expose corporate data to potential risks.

The Solution: Create a Walled Garden for Corporate Data  

Traditional security focuses on securing devices, but security can be compromised when data travels outside of the corporate network and comes to rest on mobile devices. Symmetrium creates a true zero-trust environment for your data, where no device is inherently trusted, and no data leaves the security of the corporate network. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Virtual Mobile Devices (VMDs): We transform regular mobile devices into secure extensions of your network. Imagine your phone becoming a secure window into your corporate environment.
  • Peer-to-Peer Encryption: Data stays within your network perimeter. Users access and view information through secure, encrypted streaming, eliminating the ability to download or store data on their devices.
  • No Data at Rest: Sensitive data never resides on the user’s device, significantly reducing the risk of breaches.

Separation of Personal and Work Data: Symmetrium automatically provides the complete separation between an employee’s personal data on their mobile device and work data, ensuring and maintaining their privacy.

A Seamless, Zero-Trust Approach to Mobile Security

Symmetrium integrates easily with an organization’s existing infrastructure to offer a smooth transition to a secure zero-trust environment without requiring a full technology overhaul. This is accomplished using virtual mobile devices (VMDs) that stay within the organization’s network perimeter. These use peer-to-peer encrypted streaming, enabling authorized users to securely access and view data, without transferring it to external devices. This innovative approach turns all mobile devices into secure virtual extensions of the organization’s network, ensuring compliance, security, and adherence to IT protocols.  Organizations can therefore maintain their current enterprise security protocols while protecting data and resources. 

In today’s world, data and employees are no longer confined to traditional offices. Symmetrium’s VMDs embody the true essence of zero-trust – robust security that empowers a mobile workforce while keeping data secure and safe.

Ready to secure your corporate data? Book a demo today!

 

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