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Behind the Cyber Breach: Could Your Employees Be Your Biggest Threat to Information Security?

Behind the Cyber Breach

From your greatest asset to a costly liability, employees can pose serious risks to your business when it comes to data security. With the global proliferation of data breaches and cyber-attacks bringing about the demise of countless businesses, it has never been more crucial to ensure security controls are in place to mitigate cybersecurity threats. 

Why Are Employees the Greatest Threat to Cybersecurity?

Online service providers that are utilised by your employees in the course of their work almost always collect their data. If there is a cyber-attack on one of these consumer services, it can have severe implications for the cybersecurity of your business. Furthermore, beyond the digital tools used within your business, your employees also provide their sensitive data to various other online services and apps used outside of work. But how does this concern your business, you might ask? Well, where once our personal and professional lives were separated, there is often now a digital crossover between the two.

We, as consumers, oer up our privacy and personal information in exchange for access to a plethora of platforms such as social media, search engines, and media streaming services. As a result, these companies gain access to vast amounts of information, including personal and payment details, GPS location and browsing habits, and technical details, such as your IP address and device ID. Granted, this provides a tailored experience to consumers, but the trade-o is privacy and data security, which extends to your employees. 

With employee data in the marketplace and vulnerable to dierent types of cyber threats and malicious code, hackers have an opportunity to leverage this against your business, leaving you susceptible to data breaches.

One Careless Click Is All It Takes to Diminish the Value and
Reputation of Your Business

The annual Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) has sounded the alarm: phishing reigns supreme as the primary weapon used in data breaches over the past two years. The report reveals that a staggering 85% of breaches are a direct result of human actions. These findings paint a vivid picture of the colossal impact of people-centric threats, underscoring the profound implications for organisations of all sizes.

In this blog, we’ve listed some of the ways your employees can inadvertently threaten your
cybersecurity. Read on to find out!


It is crucial for businesses to provide education on the potential risks that their employees may not be aware of when utilising devices on unsecured networks, whether for work or personal use. As far as cybersecurity threats are concerned, the inviting allure of free Wi-Fi at local cafes or on bustling trains is, in fact, a breeding ground for danger.

That's because these connections lack the protective shield of encryption, rendering data vulnerable to interception and susceptible to falling into the hands of malicious actors or advanced persistent threats. When data is transmitted without encryption, such as plain text, the unintentional leakage of passwords and other sensitive information can occur, paving the way for malevolent actors to exploit such vulnerabilities and steal sensitive data.


To safeguard personal and business-sensitive information against cybersecurity threats, it is imperative that sta refrain from storing such data on external hard drives, USB devices, or printed copies that are taken outside the oce premises.

The introduction of GDPR legislation serves as a critical measure to enhance the protection of personal data. However, the presence of such data on portable devices or in printed form introduces potential risks to its security and confidentiality.


Phishing emails are a deceptive tactic employed by malicious individuals, who mimic legitimate companies to acquire sensitive information.

These fraudulent emails often appear convincing and seem to originate from a reputable source. They cunningly request recipients to disclose confidential details. Within such emails, a hyperlink is frequently embedded, redirecting unsuspecting victims to an incredibly realistic counterfeit website. This fraudulent webpage typically features a form, enticing users to enter their personal information.

Any information submitted through this deceptive mechanism is swiftly transmitted directly to the criminals who orchestrated the deceptive website. Consequently, these attackers now possess the acquired data, ready to be illicitly exploited or traded. The requested details may include passwords, credit card information, usernames, or any other valuable data that can be misused or unlawfully sold.


With an influx of new applications on a daily basis, it’s not surprising that a significant proportion harbour malicious software, commonly known as ‘malware’. This malicious code opens the door to data breach threats.

Once installed, these sneaky apps can perform secret actions on a user's device. They can steal sensitive data, leak mobile numbers, and even infect other devices on the same network. These hidden threats are dangerous for personal and organisational security because they take advantage of vulnerabilities and user trust. It's crucial for your employees to stay alert and use strong security measures to protect against the potential harm caused by these stealthy intruders.


Neglecting system updates and upgrades exposes networks and devices to potential hacking incidents. These updates are not solely aimed at enhancing usability or aesthetics; they also incorporate crucial security features to safeguard against possible breaches.

It is important to note that employees may unknowingly jeopardise their security by disregarding timely system updates. Consequently, maintaining a consistent practice of updating all utilised software is paramount to bolstering company-wide protection.

Failing to prioritise these updates can have dire consequences, both in terms of the financial implications and the complexity of rectifying the resulting situation. Therefore, it is essential to proactively carry out regular software updates to fortify the overall security infrastructure and minimise the risks associated with potential cyber threats.

In conclusion, addressing employee-related cybersecurity risks is crucial for protecting sensitive data and maintaining a secure business environment. By implementing robust security protocols, fostering cybersecurity awareness, and promoting collective responsibility, businesses can mitigate insider threats and ensure a resilient cybersecurity regime. Stay proactive, informed, and committed to safeguarding your valuable assets and preserving customer trust in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Fortify Your Security with Lateral

With Lateral's Security Audit, you gain invaluable insights into the vulnerabilities and risks that may compromise your data and systems. Our team of skilled professionals meticulously examines your infrastructure, identifying potential weaknesses and providing actionable recommendations to enhance your security position.

With our Security Audit, you can proactively address vulnerabilities, mitigate the ever-present risks, and stay one step ahead of cyber threats. Safeguard your business's reputation, protect sensitive data, and maintain the trust of your customers.

Don't wait for a breach to occur. Take a proactive stance and let Lateral be your shield against cyber threats. Trust in our expertise, dedication, and commitment to your business's security.

Contact Lateral today  and experience the peace of mind that comes with robust cybersecurity.

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