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Cyber security is an ‘absolute necessity’ in the modern workplace

By Jack Campbell | |6 minute read

The evolution of tech has created vast opportunities in the workforce. However, with this expansion, so too do the risks increase.

Cyber security has transitioned from a nice thing to have to a crucial component for any business as assets become harder and harder to protect.

A necessity


According to Parvinder Walia, president APAC at ESET, “it’s more important than ever to recognise the critical role that cyber security plays in our digital lives.”

“One such example is the advent of chatbots or generative AI powered by large language models (LLMs). The technology is increasingly being deployed to handle some jobs like coding, content creation, and customer service. While bringing a boost of efficiency to businesses, these LLMs also pose a data privacy risk,” he explained.

“LLMs are trained on large quantities of text available online, which then helps the resulting model to interpret and make sense of people’s queries, also known as prompts. However, every time you ask a chatbot for a prompt, you may also hand over data about your company. The risk is that queries stored online may be hacked, leaked, or accidentally made publicly accessible.”

While artificial intelligence (AI) has proven to be a great benefit to the way we conduct work, there are also risks involved, and without care, businesses can be left susceptible.

“The advent of AI-enhanced threats has also improved the sophistication of phishing attacks targeting employees. Cyber criminals are leveraging AI to craft more convincing phishing emails and messages, making it harder for individuals to distinguish between legitimate communications and malicious ones. AI can be used to impersonate high-level executives or trusted sources, a tactic known as impersonator scams. Such scams can lead to significant financial losses and data breaches, underscoring the critical need for vigilance,” said Mr Walia.

“Additionally, the widespread deployment of various software solutions for business operations in this digital age can introduce multiple vulnerabilities. All new software contains innate vulnerabilities which provide opportunities for cyber criminals to exploit, gaining unauthorised access to sensitive information and systems. The complexity and variety of these risks highlight the urgent need for comprehensive cyber security measures in today’s digital workplace.”

It’s up to leaders to take charge

As with many themes in business, leaders have the power to enact real change. “Leaders can take several proactive steps to mitigate cyber security risks within their organisations. First and foremost, implementing cyber security awareness training is crucial,” Mr Walia commented.

“Such training educates employees about the latest cyber security threats, including AI-enhanced phishing attacks and impersonation scams, and equips them with the knowledge to recognise and respond to these threats effectively. Organisations should also educate employees about the do’s and don’ts when it comes to using generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, such as restricting the input of confidential data.”

Training only goes so far, however. Advanced systems that are built specifically for mitigating cyber security issues also have a place.

Mr Walia continued: “In addition to training, investing in advanced cyber security tools is essential. These tools, particularly those powered by AI, offer strong threat intelligence and human expertise, providing a robust defence mechanism against a wide array of cyber threats. They can detect and neutralise sophisticated attacks before they cause harm, thereby enhancing an organisation’s security posture.”

“Furthermore, leaders should prioritise vulnerabilities and patch management. By utilising tools designed for this purpose, businesses can ensure that vulnerabilities in commonly used software are promptly identified and patched. This not only prevents cyber criminals from exploiting known weaknesses but also maintains the integrity and security of the organisation’s digital infrastructure. Through these proactive measures, leaders can significantly reduce their cyber security risks and protect their organisations from potential cyber attacks.”

Don’t leave yourself vulnerable

“Leaders should be aware that safeguarding digital assets is not just a good-to-have but an absolute necessity for sustainable business growth in this era. Leaders also need to understand that no organisation is immune to cyber attacks,” Mr Walia said.

He concluded: “The belief that a business is too small or insignificant to be targeted is a dangerous misconception. Cyber criminals do not discriminate based on the size or industry of their targets. Instead, they exploit any vulnerability they can find. That’s why it’s essential that leaders adopt a proactive approach to cyber security, regardless of the size of their organisation. By acknowledging the omnipresent nature of cyber threats and prioritising prevention, leaders can safeguard their organisations, protect their stakeholders and maintain the trust of their customers.”



The term "workforce" or "labour force" refers to the group of people who are either employed or unemployed.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.