KnowBe4 Joins Forces Against Cybercrime

KnowBe4 has joined security companies like TrendMicro in a worldwide effort against cyber crime. These security companies are helping private businesses to shore up internal security. Public education about cybercrime threats is their top priority. They seek to spread the word from the top filtering down through the ranks and to consumers.

Company Awareness of Cyber Threats to Business and Consumers

Companies have become more aware of the risks they face. And they are pressured to take responsibility for the danger they put their customers in.Some are now making the effort to ensure that the data they hold is safe. But the one thing these security giants can’t do is protect individual consumers. That remains the responsibility of each of these consumers. Security experts are therefore integrating consumer awareness into their internet security training.

SMEs and the consumer data they hold are the main targets of hackers. They are easier to breach. They also often do not have the resources to recover after a breach. This means that once a hacker gets in, he can stay as long as he likes. The only alternative is to shut down. 60% of breached SMEs close within 6 months after being attacked.

KnowBe4 and other security companies are battling both cybercrime threats and the misconceptions of potential victims. Many organizations and individuals are vulnerable because they think they are not. Statistics from many and various studies show, however, that they indeed are very much at risk of being hacked.

Incidences of online breaches are increasing at an alarming rate. A heightened interest in internet security should follow. But 5% fewer small businesses have security protocols for data safety. About 40% claim they offer no data security training to their staff. Almost 50% don’t even have someone who takes care of data security. And less than 20% of small businesses are interested in data privacy laws. This complacency makes them, and their customers, prime targets for online theft.

Sjouwerman hopes to create a greater awareness in business owners of the real losses they face. Currently, most are focused on productivity losses. They do not realize the great cost of closing a security breach and cleaning up the mess it leaves behind. They also show little concern over the loss of status, customers, business relations, and resulting legal suits for damages. These can be more detrimental to a company, particularly as word of their security complacency spreads.


Public Awareness and Security

As a supplement for consumers, Mitnick has prepared a home security course for the general public. Most security companies leave this aspect in the hands of consumers. But KnowBe4 has integrated public safety as a key element in making Internet security work.

Hacking can be done from either end – the business servers or the consumer’s personal computer. This training aims to help people understand how hackers can get into their computers, and therefore how to keep them out. Identity theft leading to financial theft is still the main thrust of the majority of hacks. Keeping personal data secure is therefore the main plan of action. Securing devices used to connect to the Internet and securing online communications is the key to preventing online theft. Anti-virus and VPN services are good tools to have for securing personal data from the consumer’s side. The methods presented work to secure any individual who uses online services for banking, shopping, communication, social networking, and the like. This equates to the majority of the population, and so these personal security tools are vitally important.

Developing Strong Internet Security

Sjouwerman and KnowBe4’s Chief Hacking Officer Kevin Mitnick concur that having a strong defense against security breaches is more effective than trying to chase away attackers as they come. They know that security awareness and pro-active defense works to prevent cybercrime. Their goal is to persuade companies and individuals, whether employees or consumers, to believe it and take action.

The companies that are seeking help from security experts will not just get advice on IT systems. The education that the experts are prepared to give extends to all the major risk factors. Companies will get tips on managing staff leaks and educating customers in making safe transactions.

KnowBe4 is not a large company, but its growth may be imminent. It has long shown great passion for battling cyber threats. The company has previously focused on SME security. But they now have a contract to provide internet security training to a large corporation. Founder Stu Sjouwerman’s vision is to provide the means for businesses and individuals to protect themselves from online theft.

KnowBe4’s security training targets the same basic points that most security companies are trying to drive home. But they present these in a way that is easier for small businesses and individuals to swallow. The idea is that Internet security does not need to be costly. Therefore there is no reason to shy away from it and simply take the slim chance that the business won’t be breached. The security company provides the cybercrime trend data and what they know about hacker behavior. This is integrated into an action plan involving IT infrastructure and security sweeps, employee security protocols, and security tips for consumers.

Kevin Mitnick uses his hacking expertise to help people look at their security weaknesses from the point of view of a hacker. Knowing the enemy is the best way to prevent him from breaching the line of defense. For instance, the partners have identified social engineering as a favorite technique of today’s hackers. Security efforts must therefore be focused on this threat. Meanwhile, regular checks and updates will help the businesses prepare for the next hacker technique as they educate their staff and customers in the current best security practices.

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