October 28, 2022 Daniel Peters
Category : News

Although it can be quite daunting, one of the best ways to realise the importance of sound cyber security is through knowing the facts. 

According to Hiscox, one small business in the UK is successfully hacked every 19 seconds. Every day, it is estimated that there are around 65,000 attempts to hack small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs), with around 4,500 being successful. That’s a massive 1.6 million SMBs in the UK every year. 

Furthermore, research demonstrates that one of the leading causes of cybersecurity breaches is due to human error. In 2021, it was found to be responsible for 95% of breaches, which has understandably led to the call for attention to be drawn to Human Factors. 

In cybersecurity, human factors refer to the situations when the human error results in a successful data or security breach; it can be said that humans are the weakest component in terms of security and imply the greatest risks and threats for any business or organisation. Unfortunately, a growing factor that is influencing human error is increased levels of stress. 

According to CIISec’s 2020/2021 State of Profession report, 557 security professionals have said that stress has become a major issue in recent years, with 80% also saying that they have seen the first-hand effects of stress on their staff. This is concerning as research has shown that, when people are stressed, they are more vulnerable to the attempts of cyber criminals. 

To raise awareness of this, the Cyber Quarter recently held a workshop at the Cyber Quarter building in Hereford entitled ‘People – The Hidden Human Cost of Cyber’ as part of a Business Resilience Programme. The aim of this workshop was to share insights with local businesses on how, by de-risking your people’s behaviours, de-risking your contracts and optimising your insurance, you can actually thrive after a cyber-attack and not just survive.  

Along with Clare Murphy & Rebecca Kirk from Harrison Clark Rickerbys Ltd, the Cyber Quarter were joined by Human Factors Specialist Ellen Kay.   

“Our people are not only our greatest asset but our greatest liability. You don’t hire your greatest insider threat you create them OR you give them your password! We can de-risk our organisations if we de-risk the thinking and behaviours of our employees. There is also a significant benefit by taking professional advice in advance of an attack and not afterwards. The most significant one is cost savings. Creating a culture of resilency will enhance not only performance but reduce risk. And at a time of huge economic change it is never more important to take care of your costs, your contracts, your supply chain, your customers, your employees and your market position. If you take action you can take control.” Ellen Kay. 

Here is some feedback from the session: 

“Invaluable advise”, “Thank you, thank you, thank you”, “Informative case studies”, “A great format” 

All the businesses who attended the workshop were able to apply the insights from the session into their own business. New employment contracts are being drafted, bespoke workshops are being discussed for a clients’ client-base and another company has signed up for our complete Human Factors programme. If you’re a business looking for support to improve your cyber resilience, feel free to send us an enquiry via the Cyber Quarter website, or send us an email via the address below. 

Email: cyberqtr@wlv.ac.uk 

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