Chief executives rank cybersecurity as the number one threat to the global economy over the next five to 10 years, according to a 2019 CEO Imperative Study conducted by management consultancy Ernst & Young.

That sentiment is unlikely to change in 2020.

"The problem isn't getting any better because we're dealing with a human problem, not a technology problem," says Richard White, cybersecurity consultant and author of Cyber Crime: The Madness Behind the Methods.

While humans are behind cyberattacks, the targets are also human.

This makes it essential that employees at every company remain vigilant with their online behavior to keep their organization safe.

Following a set of best security practices is the best defense for front-line employees.

Best Practices

There are five key cybersecurity practices every employee should follow, according to White.He suggests policies should instruct every employee to:

  • Check for phishing or other scams either online and/or with a company security representative before opening suspicious emails or clicking links. Emails designed to attract clicks to malicious websites have become more sophisticated and realistic than ever.
  • Seek help or advice immediately if you think you may have unknowingly or inadvertently opened an email or clicked on a link that may not be legitimate. If you hesitate, it may be too late.
  • Update software whenever prompted. Software updates often contain security patches and should be implemented. Not sure it's a legitimate update request? Check with your company's IT professionals.
  • Secure sensitive and proprietary screens, devices, and equipment. This includes obscuring screens from shoulder surfing and protecting two-factor authentication.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Conducting drills and training on a regular basis, such as quarterly, keeps cybersecurity top of mind for employees. It gets the entire organization on the same page with respect to cybersecurity and makes policies second nature.

Cybersecurity Culture

Some companies have a lot of catching up to do with regards to cybersecurity. But for many companies, it remains a top priority for their employees and organization.

"Security is being built into the cultures of companies as a means to future-proof," CEO Chris Young of cybersecurity company McAfee said in an Inc. magazine interview.

"Cybersecurity is becoming a required competency of every executive—part of the standard job description—to ensure that it’s built into every aspect of what a company does and offers to its customers."

Cybersecurity compliance is becoming increasingly mandatory for manufacturers who do business with companies that supply material to military and defense-related contractors.

In fact, all Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and NASA contractors must meet the Federal Acquisition Regulation minimum cybersecurity standards or risk losing federal contracts.

Losses Total Billions

Nearly $500 billion is lost annually to cybercrime and espionage across the world economy, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Firewall and anti-virus protection are still necessary but they aren't enough in today's landscape.

Don't put your business at risk.

Protect against cyberattacks through employee training and education, updated software, and ensuring compliance to the latest industry standards.


For more information about cybersecurity compliance for your business, contact CONNSTEP  (800.266.6672).