Cybersecurity is, for most individuals, an afterthought, something that isn’t at the forefront of their interest until a breach or attack has already occurred. For a business or an organization, cybersecurity is of paramount importance when it comes to keeping daily operations running at a smooth and uninterrupted pace.
Beyond the IT department, most of the technologies that make daily operation possible are kept “behind the curtain.” The technology utilized for information exchange and authentication such as TLS, SAML, and Kerberos aren’t evaluated by most end users due to the detached nature in which the internal processes are run. The end user experience being frictionless is normally what businesses aim for, but it comes with a cost.
The risks that arise from keeping these technologies unseen is that they don’t attract the proper scrutiny that they deserve. Employees who operate technologies through these applications are usually ignorant to the configuration that they’re using, meaning that they might not be aware of the most recent updates to their system or whether or not they are running legacy technology that might not be up-to-date. This ignorance can lead to security threats that could have been avoided if the user was more informed of the technologies they use every day.
In order to combat an organization’s ignorance of their own technological infrastructure, constructing a data flow diagram to illustrate all the pathways data takes to and from information systems is extremely beneficial. Utilizing a data flow diagram allows the end user to comprehend how tasks get done while also drawing attention to threat risk areas that might’ve been overlooked before.
Establishing a clear line of accountability for these systems is key to solving this problem. The business as a whole may not have the time or resources to educate everyone about the systems they use. It may not even seem practical for the employee; it’s difficult to make time to go to a seminar about the new firewall during a busy day. The argument is that in order for businesses to bolster up their cybersecurity in an effective and genuine way, employers should find a way to explain how applications work to their employees in order to protect their data more completely. Although it’s challenging, it’s crucial.
This extra level of accountability can prevent an imminent threat before any major damage occurs. Threats and breaches can be brought to the attention of the appropriate department immediately via the end user if they have at least an intermediate understanding of what data transference and processes are taking place.
A quick response from an end user to the IT or Security department can save a lot of time, money, and headaches in the long run, a benefit that can only be gained by investing in employee awareness of the systems utilized for operations. Cybersecurity isn’t only the responsibility of the technologically inclined but of everyone who operates any category of technology, whether it’s a server or a laptop. Being well-informed on how your devices interact with networks and other systems makes you more of an asset to your company by making you more capable of helping them avoid security breaches and data leaks.