The Human Factor in Cyber security: How Your Employees Could Be Your Biggest Weakness

By Chan Wern Shen

4 Minutes Read

  • Human error contributes to 52% of cybersecurity breaches
  • Employees commonly fall for phishing, scams and fraudulent emails
  • A firewall is an essential tool for achieving network security

As technology continues to advance, cyber security has become an increasingly vital aspect of every organization. From invoicing to marketing, and from sales to HR; more and more parts of today’s business machine rely on computers, software and the cloud than ever. This means that more parts of the business is also exposed to cyber threats, which results in even greater importance to keep things secure.

In a recent blog [link to previous blog on hacking], we established that over 80% of SMEs are being attacked by cyber criminals, but did you know that human error also plays a significant part in facilitating the success of these malicious attacks?

A lack of awareness, negligence, or inappropriate access control can cause devastating cyber threats that could put your entire business at risk, and studies show that 52% of businesses already know it. 

Some of the most common human error caused cybersecurity indiscretions are: 

  • Succumbing to phishing, scam or fraudulent communications (59%)
  • Employees sharing inappropriate data via their unsecured mobile devices (47%)
  • The physical loss of company devices, leading to exposure of company data (46%)
  • Improper use of provided IT resources by employees (44%)
  • Infection by malware from unknown or risky sources (36%)
  • Attacks by malicious scripts embedded in dangerous websites (22%)

But what do these numbers mean in the real world?

The human touch; cyber security’s ultimate challenge

According to a recent study conducted by IBM, the average cost of data breaches stemming from human error is pegged at $3.33 million. While this amount seems unfathomable for most SMEs, having to endure even a fraction of that loss could spell complete and utter doom.

Phishing attacks alone are responsible for losses of over $15 million per year globally, but what’s even more concerning is that the frequency of these attacks is increasing exponentially day by day.

Direct financial losses aside, data breaches also leave a lasting impact on a company’s reputation. No one wants to do business with a company that can’t even keep their data safe, and this results in increased customer churn.

However, customer data theft is only the tip of the iceberg. Imagine if a hacker decided to ignore your customer data, and go straight for the jugular - and stole your company’s intellectual property instead. 

Now that would be disastrous.

Firewalls, an SME cyber security essential

So what can we, the business owner, do about these increasing risks?

One of the most critical components of any cyber security strategy is a reliable firewall, especially for small business owners. In short, a firewall is a digital barrier that protects your company’s network from external threats. It filters all incoming and outgoing traffic, compares it against various preset rules, measures and protocols, and uses this information to determine if the data can pass through or not. 

Unfortunately, firewalls are typically considered “high tech” solutions, as they require dedicated IT personnel to set up and maintain - two words that are closely associated with added cost. Because of this, a lot of SMEs chose to forgo installing one even though they are aware of its importance.

This is where Audra comes in. Audra Business is a fully-featured firewall that is specifically designed to be affordable and easily deployable for small business owners. It works out of the box without the need for dedicated IT personnel, and offers top-of-the-line protection against most common cyber threats.

  • Block categories:
    Start easy by blocking access to risky websites such as gambling, hacking and pornography from the office. Through Audra Business’ intuitive interface, you’ll be able to perform this task in just one tap.

  • Whitelisting / Blacklisting:
    For an added layer of protection against phishing, whitelist important websites like banks and cloud software. This means that even if a phishing link is clicked, Audra Business will automatically block access to the offending phishing website. You can go the extra mile and blacklist specific websites or apps by inputting the URL in the blacklisting column.

  • Prevent DDoS, malware and adware:
    With one tap, you can secure your network from external DDoS attacks targeting your network, and prevent malware or adware from propagating too. By working in sync with the Audra Cloud, Audra Business firewall will detect any malicious data going in and out of your network and block it from going any further.

  • Spam Guard:
    Besides stealing your data, hackers often inject code into unprotected machines, and use them to send spam out from your network to other victims. By turning on Spam Guard, Audra Business will block any unauthorised spam from leaving your network automatically.


Human error will always persist, and completely eradicating it will be an impossible task. So be a smart business owner, and focus on what you can achieve. With the help of Audra Business, implementing stronger cybersecurity protocols is a breeze. Do it today, with just one tap.
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