Cybersecurity is the “greatest manmade challenge of our time” according to BT’s head of security futures.  While the service desk may appear to have limited capacity to help, James West believes it could have a major impact on reducing cybercrime.

According to Ben Azvine blog, the cost of cybercrime will reach £6 trillion by 2022, compared to the £3 billion figure recorded last year. With figures that eye-watering, it’s hard to argue against his proclamation that cyber-security is the biggest manmade challenge of our time.

As Ben rightly points out, much of the conversation around cybersecurity centres on the technology itself. Namely, what technology can we employ to safeguard our businesses, and our connected homes and cities. But what is often overlooked in the cyber security equation is the simple, less glamorous and vital role that individuals can play in safeguarding IT integrity.

Abuse of the word ‘hacked’
IT security breach victims often claim they’ve been ‘hacked’ because it means they avoid blame. But in reality, they either naively clicked a link, allowed access to their device or shared their password with the wrong person. There’s a huge difference between a genuine hack and human error.  Statistics from Cofense show that 91% of cyber-attacks start with a phishing email. In other words, 91% of cyber-attacks would be stopped if people were smart enough to recognise a phishing email. 

Those of us with IT experience may scoff at the stupidity of the individuals falling for these scams, but this elitist approach is not helping the situation. IT professionals have a duty to educate the business on the pitfalls of phishing, how to identify threats, how to report them and ultimately how to stay safe.

The service desk is perfectly suited to act as an educational fulcrum. The service desks understands its customers and their level of education, and therefore should be well versed in speaking in a language that the business can understand. It should talk to customers. Run training workshops. Bring security into conversations. In short, include security education wherever possible.

91% of cyber-attacks would be stopped if people were smart enough to recognise a phishing email. 

It goes without saying that service desks are often embroiled in the fallout from cyber-crime and should therefore be trying to proactively minimise risk if possible. But there’s a higher calling and greater motivation than self-preservation. Cyber security is indeed a huge threat to the business and one of the biggest challenges we face, and so the service desk should be playing its role. It may be prove to be a bigger role than you’d first envisage. 

Author Bio:
James West

James West

Editor, SITS Insight

If you have service desk news to share or would like to become a SITS Insight blogger, please get in touch with James

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