Cybersecurity: 4 Common Misconceptions That Put Organizations At Risk

Nigel Phair, Director of UNSW Canberra Cyber, explains that people—not programs—are a company’s first line of cyber defense, along with some other surprising cybersecurity truths

Nigel Phair, a cybersecurity expert at UNSW Canberra, outlines the misconceptions that inhibit organizations cybersecurity and safety.

Misconception 4: Cyberthreats do not vary much

Reality: Although phishing and other email threats are the most common form of cybercrime, it's important to bear in mind that the risks an organization faces can vary significantly depending on industry, size, structure, and the kind of data they hold. These threats are constantly evolving.

“[Besides phishing,] other risks include attacks on unpatched software, payment systems, and supply chains,” Nigel notes.

“Leaders need a clear understanding of all these factors as they predict threats and employ a cybersecurity strategy. Elements of this strategy might include staff training, firewalls, or antivirus software,” he adds. “There’s no blanket route to overcoming cyberthreats.”

Social media accounts have also recently emerged as a point of vulnerability. A recent cyber-attack on Twitter allowed hackers to access the accounts of 130 celebrities, politicians, and businesspeople—including Kim Kardashian, Barack Obama, and Jeff Bezos. 

Through the new Cybersecurity Essentials for Leaders course, Nigel hopes to equip professionals with the skills they need to make tailored cybersecurity decisions that will keep their organizations safe. 

These competencies include recognizing and classifying common cyber threats, identifying gaps in current practices, and promoting cyber safety to their team.

As we continue to see growth in online transactions, staying abreast of cyberthreats, communicating best practices to employees, and continuously updating cybersecurity strategy is crucial for all team members as well as business leaders.