5 Things you must know regarding Cyber Security and Mental Health

When we think Cyber Security, we think – of Tech, Hackers, Data, Phishing, Cyber Attacks, and much more. But there is another dimension to this problem that is increasingly becoming more and more apparent – The Mental/Emotional Aspect. According to research conducted by Sekuro – An Australian Cyber Security Services Company, over 90% of professionals working in this space have experienced Mental Health Challenges in the last 2 years.

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Covid19 and the subsequent global lockdowns saw a massive increase in ransomware and the near-continuous stress of cyber-attacks has created unrelenting pressure on those working in Cyber Security. We are approaching a point where ‘burnout’ levels in cyber security might actually exceed those among frontline healthcare workers.

But why is Cyber Security so intricately linked to Mental Health and why has the corporate world not fully woken up to this reality?

1. Cyber Security in 2022 is more about Human Behavior and Less about Technology

Cyber-attacks can be traced back to the 1960s and 70s when privacy and data were the principal targets. However, with the advancement of computer technology, cyber-attacks have also seen a proportionate advance. Modern Blockchain and AI-related threats have impacts that are both technological and psychological.

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A study of the best cyber security applications worldwide reveals that most current threats are a product of sophisticated Social Engineering.

Social engineering is the term used for a broad range of malicious activities accomplished through human interactions. It uses psychological manipulation to trick users into making security mistakes or giving away sensitive information. Social engineering attacks happen in one or more steps.

A perpetrator first investigates the intended victim to gather necessary background information, such as potential points of entry and weak security protocols, needed to proceed with the attack. Then, the attacker moves to gain the victim’s trust and provide stimuli for subsequent actions that break security practices, such as revealing sensitive information or granting access to critical resources.

2. What makes Social Engineering so dangerous?

Social Engineering Attacks are so dangerous since they rely on human error rather than vulnerabilities in the OS or software. This makes them very difficult to stop as even for top-notch cyber security, mistakes made by legitimate users are less predictable than malware-based intrusions.

Organizations/groups/individuals perpetrating such attacks often possess exhaustive knowledge of human psychology and human behavior and are particularly quick to target any potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities. In fact, it is estimated that over 90% of successful breaches worldwide start with a phishing email.

3. What do we need to know about Cyber Attacks and Human Psychology?

All 5 most common forms of digital social engineering attacks are heavily influenced by human behavior.

A. Baiting: Enticing ads that lead to malicious sites or encourage users to download malware-infected applications.

B. Scareware: Potential victims bombarded with fictitious threats. Users are deceived to think their system is infected with malware, prompting them to install software that has no real benefit (other than for the perpetrator) or is malware itself.

C. Pretexting: The attacker obtains information through a series of cleverly crafted lies. The scam is often initiated by a perpetrator pretending to need sensitive information from a victim so as to perform a critical task. The process involves slowly building trust and can often go on for a long time.
D. Phishing: One of the most popular social engineering attack types. Phishing scams are email and text message campaigns aimed at creating a sense of urgency, curiosity, or fear in victims. It then prods them into revealing sensitive information, clicking on links to malicious websites, or opening attachments that contain malware.

E. Spear Phishing: A more elaborate and specific form of phishing, targeted at specific enterprises or individuals. The messages are “tailored” to the needs, and characteristics of the potential victim and the process can take weeks or even months.

 

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4. Social Engineering and Mental Health

Researchers from the University of Greenwich have proven that under “normal circumstances”, an individual (even one not very well versed with cyber security) has a 70% chance of detecting a potential social engineering attack. However, even mild depression, stress, fatigue or anxiety can greatly lower this percentage. For instance: Even mild levels of stress can impact ‘neural correlates’ which in turn impact memory – causing an otherwise “careful” individual to have lapses in memory, click on unverified links or forget to check email origins.

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5. Unique Mental/Emotional Challenges faced by those involved in Cyber Security:

Those actively involved in Cyber Security face certain unique challenges, when compared to almost any other area of work. These include:

  • Extremely high-stress environment
  • Perpetually changing landscape (There is never a status quo)
  • A constant need to update to the latest changes
  • Always on alert and surrounded by “high-risk” information at all times
  • Need to make decisions with limited (often unproven information)
  • Constant pressure with respect to limited time, resources, and team dynamics
  • Extremely high expectations as “first responders”.
  • Failure is inevitably associated with “feelings of extreme guilt”.
  • Very high costs/consequences of failure.
  • Very low levels of gratitude
  • 24/7/365 expected commitment – zero “downtime”
  • Very high risk of “burnout”
  • Constant combat against “hackers” and “social engineers” leads to developing extreme cynicism towards humanity.
  • Emotional Detachment
  • Depersonalization

Why then do we continue to overlook the obvious connection between mental health and cyber security?

While today, a life without computers seems almost unimaginable, we must remember that this is a technological revolution that has taken place during our times. What this means is that for all of our efforts in maintaining cyber security, our physiologies are not designed to work in such an environment.

We also place too much faith in “purely technological solutions” or “zero trust” systems, while discounting the human element associated with these threats.

A good example of this was the recent pandemic when Covid induced lockdowns, uncertainty, anxiety and fatigue highlighted the link between mental well-being and cyber security like never before – The peak pandemic period saw a 300% increase in cyber-attacks worldwide.

The consequence of this was what we have come to expect – Resignations rise with Ransomware. As the link between the two becomes more and more unambiguous, it is time for the Corporate World to wake up to this threat that comes hand-in-hand with Cyber Attacks.

To know more about Cyber Security Services, reach out to us @ Triway and submit your query. Our team of highly skilled experts will help you with your Security needs

IT Agility in ERP and its impact on Business Outcomes

What is ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP was a term first coined in the 1990s and referred to a process that was designed to help mainly manufacturing companies handle their material requirements and manage more effectively, their demand and supply chains. In fact, the earliest ERPs were relatively simple software programs that were capable of integrating with other systems across different departments within an organization.

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These systems began to increase in scope and complexity with the rapid growth of IT and Computer Technologies and gradually systems that were earlier thought capable of handling only back-office functions began to make their appearance in integrating front-office tasks as well. The 21st Century saw the unprecedented explosion of the Internet and ERP solutions saw a proportionate increase as well – to the point where today they form an indispensable part of an organization’s working structure – regardless of the size or domain of the said firm.

Modern ERP software is designed to fully automate the sharing of vital information across departments, avoid unnecessary duplication of data and provide data integrity in facilitating informed decision-making. This allows for a significant increase in productivity, organizational efficiency, and ROI.

The need for Agility:

The technology landscape is changing at an almost unimaginable pace. What was once “cutting-edge” is now outdated. Even advances made in IT and IT infrastructure at the start of the pandemic are now ‘par for the course’ and will soon become outdated. In such a scenario, businesses using ERP software and solutions to automate and manage their operations are perpetually vulnerable – unless the tools in question are adaptable and capable of quick, seamless and effective upgrades to match evolving market needs. For organizations that find themselves stuck with traditional ERP solutions, this is easier said than done. To achieve upgrades and system improvements, reconfiguration or complete replacement of the existing technology is often the only way of achieving IT agility in the ERP. Post the pandemic, this has become even more important as global markets are currently at their most volatile.

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IT Agility in ERP Software:

Having an Agile Framework in your IT Infrastructure refers to the capacity of a software system to handle uncertainties. When an organization achieves IT agility in ERP, it is able to swiftly adapt to challenges and respond to opportunities. Traditional or ‘Legacy’ ERP systems have long since reached their peak maturity and organizations still reliant on them need to urgently replace them with systems more suited to modern technology.

What are the signs that your organization needs to make its ERP and IT more Agile?

1. High Operational Costs: The most important ‘tell-tale’ sign that your ERP solution might be outdated and obsolete is the very high costs of operations. Organizations that find themselves stuck with traditional software and ERP solutions, end up needing to hire a larger workforce than required – a process that inevitably drives up overhead costs.

2. The Software no longer satisfies its intended purpose: This is a stage that every small to medium firm goes through, as it expands its operations and business. The business management solutions that are in place are typically designed to match/satisfy the organization’s original needs and are not compatible with growth and changes. This is another reason why IT and ERP solutions need to be inherently agile.

3. Lack of Access to Critical Data and Insight: It is often said that in the modern world, Data is the ‘New Oil’. We live in a digital world as much as in a physical one and for an organization to survive and sustain itself, it is extremely vital that it has regular and unfiltered access to data and valuable business information. Only then can business decisions be sustainable and effective. If you find that there is a certain amount of constraint in this, understand that your IT infrastructure
and ERP needs to be urgently upgraded.

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Benefits of ensuring IT Integration in your ERP Software:

1. Increasing Organizational Efficiency: The more an organization grows externally, the more its internal workflow grows. This is when the need for IT Integration starts to get felt. The primary function of any ERP system is to ensure the centralization of all work-related data – even if that data is from different departments. Once IT integration in ERP Software is ensured, systems can use advanced tools such as Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Process Automation to dramatically increase operational efficiency. This also has the impact of greatly reducing Human Error, thus increasing Data Accuracy.

2. Increasing Employee Creativity and Innovation: An organization only grows if it has a highly motivated workforce that is capable of innovative thinking. This is where an Integrated ERP Solution is most useful, as it enables employees to focus on ‘Value Creation’ activities while taking care of tedious and repetitive tasks.

3. Match and surpass Customer Expectations: Thanks to Globalization and widespread Technology, markets have become hypercompetitive. Meeting and surpassing a customer’s expectations is today more difficult than it has ever been. With so many options to choose from, a customer is typically spoilt for choices. This is also why it is vital that an organization looking to succeed, cuts down its Order/Service Processing Time, to ensure repeat sales. This is where an Integrated and Agile ERP Software Solution can help as it automates your order management or service processing workflows, lets you complete multiple processes together, and improves internal communications while reducing redundant back-office administration tasks. This improves the overall business productivity and enables you to serve your customers better and improve sales.

Choose the best ERP Solutions for your Business: While there are several excellent Agile ERP solutions on offer, it is important that you choose the one that best echoes your business needs. At Triway Technologies, we provide Integrated and industry-ready Agile ERP solutions that are capable of integrating your business flow and managing market needs.

Top 5 reasons why Cloud Archiving can massively improve Personal Data Protection

Data Protection and Data Privacy are two of the biggest ‘hot button’ issues of the modern world and cloud computing and storage have been particularly helpful on both these fronts. Today, both as individuals and as organizations, massive amounts of sensitive personal information can be stored on the Cloud and accessed globally – at any given instance!

For even a medium scaled organization, there is a huge amount of highly sensitive data – that includes the personal and financial information of employees and customers that needs to be adequately stored and protected. Even the slightest lapse can lead to a catastrophic loss of confidence in the organization’s ability to safeguard the privacy and security of its stakeholders.

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To make matters even harder, organizations are required by law to retain or store this information for a predefined amount of time – subsequent to any business transaction.

Until recently, the most favored method of securing this data was for the Organization to store it on a personalized and ‘on-premise’ server. While on paper this might suggest that an organization enjoys full control of its data, on-premise servers come with several drawbacks:

1. On-premise servers of any kind require a very substantial initial investment which very often smaller organizations struggle to put up. The expenses do not stop at this point though, as these servers are extremely expensive to operate and require a highly trained and ever-vigilant crew to run them.

2. The fact that on-premise solutions have to be developed specifically and uniquely for each organization, makes them drastically less scalable. Even after a server such as this is onboarded, the organization needs to spend an inordinate amount of time, attention, and money in making sure that it matches/fulfills its objectives. This ‘inflexibility’ also presents several hurdles when an organization is looking to grow or expand, as on-premise servers are often incompatible with distributed environments.

3. This also presents further challenges if an organization changes its IT infrastructure or Environment at any stage of its journey – something that most modern organizations are increasingly willing to undertake under ‘agile’ frameworks.

Enter Cloud Archiving Solutions

Just what is Cloud Archiving and how does it work?

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Cloud Archiving Solutions help in long-term data retention and are especially effective when it comes to data that is infrequently accessed but which needs to be stored for regulatory compliance.

The effectiveness of these solutions is so visible that today an ever-increasing number of enterprises are moving their data onto a Cloud-based archive.

As any successful business owner would tell you, the benefits of this are several:

1. Cloud Archiving offers theoretically “unlimited” storage:

While there are several cloud-based archiving systems available, most of them offer potentially limitless storage capacities. What are more, organizations storing their data on a cloud-based archive, do not have to worry about equipment upgrades or any form of upkeep to their data centers. This proves to be very cost-effective in the long run. Cold Data is often stored on Public Cloud Archiving services such as Amazon S3 Glacier, Microsoft Azure Blob Storage, and Google Cloud Archive Storage, which store data for as little as less than a penny per gigabyte.

2. Cloud Archiving offers enormous flexibility:

One of the biggest advantages that a cloud-based archive offers are that the stored data can be accessed from any part of the world at any point in time. While it is true that bringing data down from the cloud can be sometimes a time-consuming and expensive process, most of the stored data is generally of the type that is rarely used.

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3. Cloud Archiving provides a high degree of Data Security

A cloud-based archive solution provides several layers of security – designed to keep your data absolutely safe. One of the biggest challenges in securing data is that information needs to be secured on three fronts – Hardware, Software, and Encryption. This is also the reason why organizations that attempt to archive their sensitive data on in-premise servers very often struggle when it comes to data security, as securing all three fronts can be extremely expensive. Cloud-based solutions on the other hand provide ‘multi-layered’ security systems for all data stored on them.

To begin with, all of the data moving in and out of the cloud is managed using secure HTTPS protocols. In addition, most cloud-based providers add a second layer of protection, by encrypting all of the data stored on the cloud. The ‘icing on the cake’ is that customers of such services are given the option of either encrypting their data before uploading it to the cloud or alternately, adding a personalized encryption key to the data once it is uploaded.

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4. Cloud-based archives can be a ‘life-saver’ during disasters:

One of the best features of a cloud-based storage solution is that any information stored on the cloud is automatically ‘backed up’ to the cloud’s main data center. This means even if your company’s main servers crash or fail, your data will remain safe and sound on the cloud – accessible to you from anywhere in the world.

5. Cloud Archiving allows for improved organization and cataloging of data:

Cloud-based archives were designed to help an organization meet its data regulations and as a result, they come equipped with several features including the ability to set data retention periods and the ability to track, categorize and report data usage.

Conclusion

We are now at a stage where the benefits of Cloud-Based Archiving solutions are undeniable and every year, an ever-increasing number of organizations move their data over to the cloud. With a plethora of vendors available who can all provide this form of service, it is important to choose one that best aligns with your business needs and objectives.

5 Reasons why Digital Marketing is most important for Small to Medium sized Businesses

Not so long ago, terms like Online Marketing, Online Advertising, Display Advertising, or Digital Branding were considered elitist and exotic. Companies would be asked and subsequently slotted as being either ‘online’ or ‘offline’ businesses.

All of that has changed in the last 5 years – and particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Today, it is almost impossible for a business to think of itself in purely ‘offline’ terms, as statistics reveal that an overwhelming proportion of buyers begin their product search online – A staggering 87% according to RetailDive. This number is only set to grow, with more and more businesses turning their attention online following the brutal events of Covid19.

5 Reasons why Digital Marketing is most important for Small to Medium sized Businesses

Here are 5 reasons why Digital Marketing has become absolutely crucial, particularly for Small to Medium sized businesses:

1. Digital Marketing can greatly help boost Customer Loyalty

Customer relationships and customer loyalty are intrinsic to the success of any business and for the longest time, before the internet era began, this is what allowed small to medium-sized businesses to prosper. But the emergence of large-scale retail outlets and MNCs changed all of that, as the modern consumer is literally spoiled for choices. This makes it extremely difficult for the smaller scale business setups to compete with large established megastores, which can offer a customer everything from massive discounts to even wider product ranges.

This is where Digital Marketing can help small to medium-scale businesses even the odds, as unlike conventional marketing and advertising techniques, it does not stop with the sale of a product. A carefully designed Digital Marketing campaign goes well beyond product checkout and can transform customers into brand ambassadors. A simple automated yet personalized “thank you” note or an appreciation email sent directly to the customer’s inbox can go a long way in ensuring a long-term relationship between the two parties.

2. Digital Marketing offers small businesses a low-cost way of actually beating their much larger competition

Content Marketing is a huge part of Digital Marketing and this is the most cost-effective way for a small business to match or even beat its much larger competitors. While in the past, a company’s ability to reach the market was directly proportional to its ‘spending’ capacity, the internet and particularly social media have massively democratized the playing field. For a small to medium-scale business, with a limited marketing budget, Digital Marketing is the perfect ‘low risk – high reward’ strategy to outcompete its more storied competition. A skillfully designed campaign with just the right mix of emotion and customer-specific content can very easily go ‘viral’ online – something that no amount of money can match.

5 Reasons why Digital Marketing is most important for Small to Medium sized Businesses.

3. AI and Machine Learning are rapidly altering how a business sees its customer

In the early days of Online Marketing and Advertising, the focus was all on identifying a potential customer and trying to get him/her to buy your product or service. New advancements in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have changed all of that. Small businesses today no longer have to rely on guesswork or assumptions about who their customers might be or what their wants are. A wide array of Digital Marketing tools and technologies allow small businesses to learn everything from their customer’s online habits to spending proclivities and create targeted marketing campaigns that are extremely effective.

Today’s Digital Marketing campaigns involve tools such as Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Google Search Console that help a business know a potential customer in and out and even influence their buying habits.

5 Reasons why Digital Marketing is most important for Small to Medium sized Businesses.

4. Digital Marketing is extremely affordable

One of the biggest ‘myths’ about Digital Marketing is that it is a ‘cash drain’. While it is true that mindlessly pouring money into one’s social media handles will not automatically translate into inflated sales, Digital Marketing and Advertising are infinitely more affordable than traditional marketing.

Compared to exorbitantly expensive methods of traditional marketing/advertising such as Billboards, Hoardings, or Television Ads, an average Digital Marketing campaign is well within the budget of even the smallest of companies. With the right amount of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and the right platform, Digital Marketing can easily match the reach of traditional broadcast channels such as Television and Radio at less than 10% of the cost.

5. Digital Marketing is set to evolve even further with the imminent arrival of Web 3.0

Ever since Facebook rebranded and re-focused its intentions towards Augmented and Virtual Reality experiences, the internet has been awash with the new buzzword – Metaverse. While experts are still polarized about whether our future selves will be spending most of our lives within these ‘Digital/Virtual Environments’, it is clear that Blockchains, NFTs, and Digital Avatars are set for revolutionizing the internet as we know it.

5 Reasons why Digital Marketing is most important for Small to Medium sized Businesses.

If and when we embrace this ‘near future’, Digital Marketing will gain even more prominence as we buy, sell and interact with each other in these virtual environments. Here again lies the possibility of further democratizing the ‘gap’ between large and small companies.
So, there you have it! 5 of the most important reasons why you must invest in having a solid ‘Digital Presence’ – particularly if you are a small to medium sized business.
At the very least, reach out and connect with one of our experts to understand how your business interests may best be served. We are one of the leading Digital Marketing Service providers in Dubai.

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