Businesses Turn Employee Safety Solution into Phishing Alert System

Fast action is required when cybersecurity threats are detected to limit the harm caused. When phishing emails are received, or ransomware or malware threats are detected in the email system, fast action can prevent a costly data breach.

Many businesses are now turning to their employee safety solutions as an additional protection against phishing and to instantly notify staff of a cyberattack in progress.

Mass Notification Systems Fast Becoming the Norm in Businesses

In healthcare, the threat of violence against staff members is ever present. Incidences of serious workplace violence are four times as likely to occur in healthcare than any other industry and 80% of healthcare workers will experience violence in the workplace at some point during their careers.

It is a similar story in education. 80% of teachers have experienced at least one episode of victimization or violence in the past 12 months and school shootings occur with alarming regularity. In the United States, on average there is at least one shooting incident in a school every week with more than 30 reported in 2018 from January to May.

In 81% of all cases of violent incidents in schools, at least one person was aware of the threat before the incident occurred yet didn’t report it. If threats were reported and first responders arrived on scene faster, incidents such as those in Sandy Hook, Columbine, Santa Fe, Parkland, and Benton may not have been as severe.

In response to these incidents, many schools, healthcare providers, retailers, and businesses are setting up a panic button system for use on mobile phones. This system allows threats to be reported to security teams to empower early intervention, staff can be notified of current threats and active/non-active shooters, and first responders can be instantly notified. These alert systems ensure a faster response to emergencies and better coordination of the response to improve safety for all employees and other individuals on site.

Mass Notification Systems Turned into Phishing Alarm System

These mass notification systems also allow administrators to instantly sent notifications to all workers, regardless of where they are located – whether they are in the office, travelling, working from home, or connected to Wi-Fi in coffee shops. Since the messages are sent via mobile phones, workers do not need to be connected to the Internet in order to receive a message. They are a much more effective way of communicating than email.

Some businesses have started using these systems to alert staff to other types of threats – Threats that do not involve violence but can cause considerable harm: Phishing, ransomware, and malware attacks.

Email attacks can be conducted on a single employee, but it is common for an organization to discover multiple threats in their email systems. While IT teams attempt to neutralize the threat by removing all messages from the email system, employees could be clicking and installing malware.

Companies with a mass notification system in place can instantly alert all employees to the threat warning them of a phishing or malware attack in progress and provide instructions.

The systems allow alerts to specific groups or departments such as payroll or finance when a business email compromise attack is detected, or to the entire workforce when a malware, ransomware, or phishing campaign is identified.

The system can be the difference between a thwarted attack and a costly data breach involving several email accounts, computers, and internal networks. With the average cost of a data breach now $3.86 million (Ponemon/IBM Security) businesses should consider using these systems alongside other cybersecurity control mechanisms and as part of their emergency response procedures.

Author: Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief of