What Is The Weakest Link In Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is full of weaknesses and vulnerabilities, but what is the weakest link in cybersecurity? In todays article, we take a deep dive into why we humans cause most cybersecurity issues, and how we can prevent them in the future. 

What Is The Weakest Link In Cybersecurity?

In cybersecurity, there is a chain of weak links and unfortunately, this is always changing. But, what is the weakest link in cybersecurity? This award goes to humans! Us humans whilst complex and wonderful, are unfortunately the easiest threat to most businesses from a cybersecurity point of view. Here are some other weak links in cybersecurity;

  • Humans
  • Poor Technology Configuration

Whilst there are more, most can be split into these two categories. Let’s see why humans are the weakest link. 

Why Are Humans The Weakest Link In Cybersecurity? (3 Reasons)

So, why are humans the weakest link in cybersecurity? We’re all humans at the end of the day, but unfortunately, we are the main reasons cybersecurity is such a problem. An estimated 95% of security breaches occur from human error in some way, shape or form. Whilst we continue to improve ourselves and staff training, this still happens. Let’s look at 3 reasons humans are the weakest link in cybersecurity. 

1. Humans Work too Fast (Rushing)

We often work too hard, but often rush before realising what we’re doing. Common courtesy by letting random people in through a door or opening a malicious email from someone impersonating your boss are all reasons we let attacks into our networks.

A lot of attacks originate from non-intentional insider threats, which are attacks where a staff member within a company opens up the doors to potential attacks. These include malicious emails (both phishing/spearphishing etc.) or even something as simple as opening the door to an attacker who is leveraging your kindness. 

2. We don’t know any better.

Unfortunately, only till now are we getting any better at protecting ourselves. By using VPNs, and being onboarded onto cybersecurity training. This comes far too late, and unfortunately still is not getting pushed out as wide-spread as it should be.

Common tell-tale signs of malicious code, malicious emails or of physical intrusion can all be taught in a 30-minute hands-on experience, and services such as KnowBe4 are trying to get this out to the public, specifically in businesses where this is the biggest problem. 

Whilst this is still something to work on, self-improving can be done through YouTube videos or even here at Hakubi. We strongly recommend reading through some articles here and educating yourself on tell-tale signs. 

3. Humans are an easy target.

Whilst breaking into computers may be the go-to for many hackers, it’s actually quite difficult. Both learning how to inject code, or simply just understanding the true 1’s and 0’s of software is no small task. Humans, however, are just as complex but often soften their walls to attacks in a strange way. 

What is the weakest link in cybersecurity?
Some Code from a Piece of Software

Code doesn’t have emotions, but we humans do making us much easier to break down or exploit in attacks. This idea of being an easy target is amazing for attackers, but unfortunately – makes us a prime target for an easy way into an organization. 

Weakest Link In Cybersecurity (How To Combat This)

Whilst we can all take the award for being the weakest link, there are a few ways we can combat this. Most of it comes down to self-awareness and learning what to look out for. Here are some tools, and recommendations on what to look out for, and how you can refuse the award for being the weakest link!

NCSC: Phishing Attacks – What to look out for!

The NCSC is the UK’s cybersecurity governing body. Whilst this is not multi-national, the information here is still top-notch. It helps you understand what to look out for in phishing and spearphishing attacks – which is the cause of up to around 90% of all attacks.

We would strongly recommend you check out the NCSC’s Phishing Awareness info post here

Burgi Technologies – YouTube Post for Cybersecurity Awareness Training

Whilst this is a little outdated (at 2 years old), the cybersecurity awareness video is less than an hour long and covers several areas of cybersecurity that anyone may have to deal with in their lifetime. We would strongly recommend you give their awareness training video a watch!

Burgi Technologies - YouTube Post for Cybersecurity Awareness Training
Burgi Technologies – YouTube Post for Cybersecurity Awareness Training

FAQ on the Weakest Link

What is a weakness in cyber security?

A weakness in cybersecurity can be described in a few different ways. A weakness is often referred to as a point in which an attacker can leverage in order to gain access to a system. Similarly to human weakness, it’s typically referring to a disadvantage or a fault. 

An example of a weakness could be a poor account password or an unprotected Wi-Fi network.

What is the weakest link to cyber and data security?

With cyber and data security, humans lead the weakest link chain due to poor cybersecurity training and an array of easy-to-target attacks which typically come from a lack of knowledge. Whilst this can be physically based, data security also plays a large part in this.

What is the weakest link in a network?

Within a network, excluding human error, the weakest link is improperly configured devices. This could be firewalls, servers, or devices that don’t have the correct security settings, leading to an almost open door for attackers.

The most common is the improper configuration of firewall settings, which can lead to DDoS attacks, leading to further attacks with a weakened defence within a business. 

What is the weakest layer in the layers of security?

In cybersecurity, there are seven layers. From first to last, they are mission-critical assets, data security, application security, endpoint security, network security, perimeter security, and human security

The weakest layer of these security layers is the human layer – as we have found within this article. 

The Weakest Link In Cybersecurity (Closing Thoughts)

Overall, whilst we may be the problem to businesses and quite frankly – we are, we can only do our best to improve our own knowledge and teach ourselves, and others the best practices when it comes to cybersecurity education. 

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About the Author

Charlie K

Charlie has been working with technology since the age of 6, and has skilled up on all things technical. Cybersecurity is one aspect that has never failed to disappoint. After several years in the industry, Charlie is branching out to help others get into the industry.

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