human firewall

A group of people in an organisation that works towards detecting cyber attacks such as ransomware or phishing attacks that may bypass your computer security system are known as a human firewall. With the advent of the digital era and an increase in digitisation, the amount of data available has increased massively. An increase in data calls for a higher need for security. 

A regular firewall is a device that blocks out the malicious traffic that may enter your system and cause a loss of vulnerable data. Similar to a firewall, a human firewall focuses on securing your network. It is necessary to train employees to effectively handle their data and ensure that the Company does not suffer any data loss. Human firewalls are important since they can help prevent major cyberattacks. Although they are the last line of defence, it is necessary to train them well and ensure that they are highly vigilant. Through this blog, we will learn more about the different areas of weakness to the human firewall. We will also learn how it can help in strengthening your security system. 

Areas of Weakness to the Human Firewall

1. Phishing 

One of the most common ways to fall for a cyber attack, several employees have fallen for phishing attacks. Essentially knowing what kind of phishing attacks are currently circulating can help you reduce the risk of falling for them. Emails stating that your Facebook account may be disabled, and other similar emails should be ignored. Spear Phishing has become more popular as hackers and scammers have learnt how to make these attacks seem more legitimate with the use of personalised information. These attacks are more targeted and can thus be more dangerous too. Individuals must be made aware of the requests that are outside the norm and be able to detect signs of such attacks. 

2. Theft/Loss 

Another way that your network can become vulnerable is through theft or loss of devices. With the advent of work from home practices, bringing in your device has become more common these days. Individuals do not have any anti-theft protection and may not appropriately secure their devices. A mobile device that contains personal information related to the organisation must be secured well. Ensuring that the emails or information cannot be accessed on your phone by securing it with a facial recognition feature or fingerprint can help you be more careful. 

3. Malware

The chance of malware being installed on your system is typically when you are browsing any compromised website. Sites that you may often visit also can be a victim of cyber attacks and have vulnerabilities. One of the most common ways through which malware is downloaded is through different popups on websites. It is important to train individuals regarding malware and how it works. Individuals should know how malware may be installed, which will go a long way in securing your network. 

Also Read: Top 9 Cyber Security Tools that every business needs

Ways to strengthen your Human Firewall

1. Education

While building a human firewall, a little education can go a long way. First, you must bring all the employees at your Company onboard with the ways to protect the Company’s security system. Ongoing training related to security threats and best practices to avoid falling for these threats is essential. Sometimes while using tools for mass emailing, there are higher chances at your computer security being compromised. In such a situation, being educated about the do’s and don’ts will help you in the long run. You can also run an experiment in which you can fake a phishing email. If the individual is unable to identify this, they are redirected to a training page that will help them improve their knowledge regarding phishing and other cyberattacks. 

human firewall

2. MFA or 2FA

Multi-Factor Authentication or 2-Factor Authentication have become highly popular today. They are essential in strengthening the human firewall and giving individuals another layer of security in a cyber attack. A multi-factor authentication calls for individuals to secure their accounts by requiring two things, something they know and something they have. Something they know refers to the password, and something they have will either be their phone or a device where they can receive an OTP or a one-time password. Entering an individual’s password and then the OTP sent to your device will allow them to log in to the account. Ensuring that Multi-Factor Authentication and 2FA are in place will prevent hackers from logging into the individual’s account. While it is important to follow such human firewall practices, it is important to remember that this is not foolproof. Attackers may grow to be smart enough to generate codes.

3. Devices Issues by the Company

People are now more open to work from home policies and remote working, in such a situation, using personal devices for official work is becoming increasingly prevalent. Our devices might be more susceptible to malware and cyber-attacks. Ensuring that the right security measures are in place before using these devices for office work is important to secure our data. If the company issues devices for its individuals, it is easier to maintain security practices and install the necessary software and security tools to ensure security. With this in place, you will also be able to install and manage the tools remotely and increase your vulnerable data’s safety. 

Thus, it is important to ensure that all organisations have a human firewall system and strengthen their security systems. If you found this blog helpful and wish to learn more such concepts about cybersecurity, join Great Learning’s Stanford Advanced Computer Security Program and upskill today. 

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