By Javvad Malik, security awareness advocate at KnowBe4
With Gartner expecting global security spend to increase above $120 billion and cybercrime on the rise, cybersecurity vendors are in a strong position to aid organisations with the latest innovative and sophisticated technologies to meet the growing demand for security. Despite this,companies are still floundering when it comes to getting security right as evident in the first half of 2019, with over 40 high level data breaches. These have resulted in at least 4 billion records containing highly sensitive information being exposed. One threat that seems to be at the heart of these incidences is phishing. Evidently, something is not quite right.
According to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report, phishing was the top threat in successful breaches that were linked to social engineering and malware attacks. Even with security technologies in place, hackers are still successfully avoiding defences by reverting to using ingenious phishing and social engineering methods that target what is often considered the weakest link in security – humans. Whether it be over the phone, duping an individual via email or another creative outreach method, there are numerous ways hackers can extract critical information from unsuspecting staff members.
Which industry struggles most?
When analysing the risk posed to a particular sector, research found there was an increase of 2.6 percent in 2019 to 30 percent across all industries compared to 2018. This was done by measuring the organisation’s Phish-prone percentage (PPP) which would quantify the likelihood of a breach from a phishing attack that targeted the workforce. Although there was a slight uptick in overall risk to all industries, there were some standout stats when examining small, medium and large companies. For instance, across small and mid-sized organisations, those in construction were the most phish-prone, ranking in at 38 percent and 37 percent respectively. Some may be surprised by construction leading the pack, but when you consider those within this industry handle client data or confidential project information, intellectual property, subcontractor data or financials and even employee data including health data, it is understandable why these businesses are being targeted the most.
When investigating large companies (1,000+ employees), the hospitality industry had 48 PPP and was found to be most prone to falling victim to a phishing scam.Those within hospitality have had to quickly come to terms with the disruptive nature of cyberattacks as in the past decade high profile breaches have struck major enterprises such as Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott International and the travel trade organisation Abta.
Organisations that are mid-sized and operated within the banking and financial services industries were slightly higher than the baseline average with PPP’s at 31 and 32 respectively. Given the substantial amount of sensitive personal and financial information that passes through this sector, cybercriminals are naturally going to be drawn to it. No wonder the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority revealed the number of cyber-incidents rose by more than 1000% in 2018.
On the other hand, staff working in transportation were found to be the least susceptible and achieved the lowest PPP with 16 percent. Yet, this is still a significant number when you consider how many users in a larger organisation could put the company at risk by unknowingly clicking a fraudulent link.
The Human firewall
It is often preached that in order to build a strong enough defence against phishing attacks, organisations need to start from within. There is an element of truth in this, but the strength of this defence depends entirely on the tactics and strategies used when training employees. To radically reduce vulnerabilities being disclosed and change end-user behaviour, the right testing and training needs to take place. This begins with a baseline test across the entire business which will give business leaders a PPP for the workforce that can then be used as an indicator to measure against future tests. Depending on the PPP percentage comes staff learning exerciseswhich involve on-demand, interactive and engaging computer-based training. By doing away with the old and archaic PowerPoint slides and incorporating engaging videos and awareness modules,businesses will see an increase in both attention and retention.
Once the initial teaching has been conducted, it’s time to test the workforce again by simulating actual attack methods to mimic real-world threats. This helps train the mindset to create new habits while reinforcing what was learned previously. Once the results from the replicated tests are calculated, business leaders will then have a clear idea of how their employees have responded to the training and the fake phishing scams. Without this benchmark, organisations will forever be at risk.This new-school approach aims to improve overall security through good training in a rapid time frame and results can be seen in as little as three months. Companies that adopted this approach saw the PPP drop in 90 days from an average of 30 percent to 15 percent. This fell further to two percent after 12 months of continued CBT and phishing training showing the effectiveness of this new teaching.
Once organisations gain a clear understanding of how they and their employees stack up in terms of phishing awareness, the path to making them an efficient last line of defence or a ‘human firewall’, can truly begin. In the end, every business, regardless of its size and industry, is vulnerable to social engineering attacks as each individual staff member is seen as a possible entry point for hackers. Therefore, its high time businesses began arming the workforce with the necessary tools, knowledge and training material to help them avoid putting the company in potential jeopardy.
The internet has set up brands at every corner of the street and getting people to visit yours is a mix of skill and art. The attempts to layout customer roadmaps to your brand which aren’t abandoned are not new and the struggles are the same as before. In fact, the struggle to have your brand heard has piled up as competition keeps emerging and viewer attention span keeps getting fragmented. This has led to a surge in brands using conventional advertisements to highly compress their message to the audience.
This is not the best gameplan to bet on. Ads are perceived by many as intrusive, insincere and housing an ulterior motive. The audience is bombarded with ads from every angle and making it shorter does not really help. Most people don’t react the same way to guest posting.
A guest post is a piece of brand journalism which lives on a publisher’s website. Sponsored posts are an advertorial piece of long-form writing that is created to be highly engaging. They avoid the intrusive and abrupt conventional-approach of ads and indulge in a more respectful and subtle modern-approach for recommending your services or products.
Choosing the right platforms to publish your guest post is crucial as the platform is seen as your partner and representative. Your chosen platform must balance between writing a blog post and a traditional advertisement, stray away from being intrusive and stick with being subtle and respectful. At Global Banking and Finance (GBAF), we offer the opportunity to bank on our decade-long experience and expertise in writing balanced content like this.
How Can Guest Posts on GBAF Help You?
Constantly investing time and effort into writing and publishing on your blog is great for fostering and strengthening your already existing audience relationship but this doesn’t help you reach a new audience.
Guest posting opportunities on our platform gives you access to an untapped audience base. This is a significant advantage in two ways:
- Familiarity: We have built our audience through our authentic, thought-provoking and storytelling writing nature. Our audience is familiar and receptive to this writing style. When we adapt your content in the same format, it allows your content to have better reception compared to traditional ads. Also, your content will adapt to the environment of content which makes it feel natural and less abrupt or intrusive.
- Trust: When a consumer learns about your brand through someone they trust (someone like a renowned brand, friend, some industry authority, etc), they are more likely to trust you, too. Our audience’s trust means a chance for your brand’s voice to be heard. It also means having customers who have completed their journey of brand choice. When they choose you, it will be an additional choice of transition from our platform rather than a new choice of approaching you. They only have to go half-way.
With amplified brand reach and redefined trust, your brand visibility and credibility will be boosted. We also help you boost visibility by leveraging our social media channels which currently have 135k followers and keep growing every day.
Another major area of impact when doing guest posts with GBAF is the focus, delivery and expertise of writing. The audience members will engage with your content much more than they do with your traditional ads. This will increase the chances of convincing the customers who doubt, skepticize and speculate becoming customers of your brand from afar. Writing to deliver your promotion with value-driven content also allows you to plug in a recommendation at a crucial point of the problem with your brand as the solution.
Lastly, value-driven content avoids the intrusive BUY THIS! style of writing. Here, the focus is on communicating your knowledge and therefore allows you to establish yourself as a thought-leader in your niche.
All of these combined benefits act as a catalyst to boost your brand reach, funnel attention to your brand, gain a competitive advantage and knock down all other challenges presented in separating yourself from your competition.
Brand adoption is slow. Abandoning an old familiar brand route for a new one is difficult. People rarely reach out to brands and they sprint the other way if they see brands reach out to them through conventional and dull ads. In such a deadlock scenario guest posts can provide the perfect strategy to bet on.
Why Guest Posting is Your Best Bet
In a scenario where new businesses are popping up everyday, one of the major challenges brands face is that of devising an organic and effective way to get the attention of their target audience. And one of the first solutions that comes to mind is the internet and consecutively, digital marketing. Even though its all-pervasive nature has made it both super-easy to reach people across the globe, the internet also comes with its own set of challenges. In this article, we will discuss the tough-to-crack parts of digital marketing, things that almost every brand representative or marketing executive has to face in the present date.
The oversimplification of digital communication has deceived many brands into believing that it’s the only way to reach their audience. However, the reality is hardly so. Today, there are more platforms and media formats than there have ever been before and newer ones keep emerging everyday. As a result, the netizens have developed a rapidly decreasing attention span. As a result, brands are wrestling to fit their message into as tiny a space as possible in what can only be called conventional methods of advertising.
For many brands, digital marketing proves to be an ordeal that takes years to crack, all the while draining the brand’s potential for more business and/or larger reach. It is worth noting that one of the major challenges that most businesses face is that of people avoiding ads altogether; no matter how good your ad is, chances are that people don’t want to see it, resulting in zero engagement. The second and bigger challenge is that short messages don’t convert those who are unaware of your brand, to brand loyalists. Instead, these ads are likely to affect only those who are already considering buying into what your brand is offering, which might be a small share.
This is where Global Banking & Finance Review (GBAF) comes in. We offer you the opportunity to overcome both the challenges (and more) in one go through our guest post services.
Guest Posts Have An Edge Over Normative Advertisements
Guest posts are advertorial pieces of long-form writing, created with an aim to engage the audience by taking away the impression of normative ads. How? Sponsored posting articles are so designed that they address the audience’s demands or queries, and also offer your brand as a solution instead of point-blank marketing. Consequently, this makes the audience spend a longer time engaging with your brand than they would do with, say, a pop-up ad. Through a guest blog post, your brand has the space to engage in a fair exchange because the article delivers value to your audience rather than being a conventional sales-driven advertisement.
To sum it up, sponsored posts fall right on the sweet spot between a blog post and a traditional advertisement on the spectrum of advertising.
Here’s Why You Should Run Guest Posts on GBAF
At GBAF, our team understands the importance of the environment in which your brand is introduced to an audience, something that leaves a lasting impact on their minds. It goes without saying that this very impression will influence and drive their future decisions on whether they want to engage with your brand and buy what you’re selling. Hence, it is our staff that is usually responsible for writing the posts that go up for your brand on our website. This allows for the sponsored post to merge in seamlessly with the existing content in our website instead of sticking out like a sore thumb. The aim in doing so is to create these posts in a way that does not distract or seem abrupt as guest posts are meant to be adaptive to an existing environment. So, even though it is essentially promoting your brand, a sponsored post is more of a brand journalism piece than an ad.
On our platform, we understand the importance readers attach to authenticity and value. This also allows GBAF to have a firm grip on introducing your brand effectively while simultaneously catering to the audience’s needs. Our team works around the clock to gain our audience’s trust by continually delivering authentic and value-driven content to our readers for more than a decade. When you partner with us, that resource pool is easy to tp into. When a consumer learns about your brand through a reliable source (for instance, someone like a renowned brand, friend, some industry authority, etc), they are more likely to trust you, too.
Why You Need to Take Guest Posting Seriously
When customers are largely in control of marketing conversations, traditional advertisement has lost its touch. How you educate your prospects and out-educate your competitors now win the battle and generate leads.
If you’re the spokesperson of a brand or if it is your job to tell a story that your customers care about, you know how important it is to be generous, to share your ideas on a platform that promotes storytelling, and to position your brand as the most trusted partner for your customers.
The challenge with quick, easy micro-copy is that it fails to make an impact. It’s like a quick-fix that we try to use in everything we do. However, quick-fixes don’t heal a burning pain-point. A thoughtful, easy-to-read, user-friendly guide does.
At Global Banking & Finance Review (GBAF), we help you help your customers. Here’s how.
Guest Posting: How it Works
Guest posting is the art of telling your story to your audience without shoving it down their throats. It’s not an advertisement, but a thought-leadership content piece that educates & promotes your brand to your target audience without interrupting them.
- Our editorial team works your content piece to present your brand on our website
- The sponsored articles adhere to the context, the tone, the voice of your brand and represent it in the way you’d like to portray to your audience
- The content piece is lucidly written and only does one job, i.e. educating your audience
- The piece is long-form of content that allows your target audience to engage with your brand longer (much more than an advertisement)
- It doesn’t distract, interrupt, or intrude the audience
- Sponsored posts are designed and articulated to solve the audience’s pain-point and showcase your brand as a solution-provider
Why Should You Run Guest Posts on GBAF?
GBAF is a platform that garners a community of over 135,000. Here are four reasons for which you should run guest posts on GBAF:
- We help you increase the engagement with your audience: We don’t depend on surveys to understand what your target audience wants. For the last ten years, we have been serving various kinds of readers. And we know them personally. Thus, we know how to place your content to increase engagement.
- We put your audience ahead of the marketing funnel: When you run an ad, you start from scratch. And as a result, the first step is always to start with the beginning of the marketing funnel. When you publish a guest post on our platform, your target audience already begins to trust you since we’ve put years of work in building the community.
- We help you generate leads: An ad is interruptive. When you submit a guest post on GBAF, it teaches instead. And directs the audience to take action. As a result, you generate more leads. In this era of marketing, the brand that educates better, profits more.
- We offer you cost-effective solutions: When you run sponsored articles on GBAF, you’re in charge of your budget. You decide how much you’d like to spend per month. And we support you with cost-effective solutions backed up with the results so that you can calculate your ROI upfront.
How to Submit a Guest Post on GBAF
- Check categories:
- B2B: CSR, Green Tech, AI & Big Data, Ongoing Training for Employees, Manufacturing
- B2C: Travel Destinations, Trends on Buying a Home, Working Remotely, Electronics
- Follow guidelines:
- Format: Word format
- Send at: [email protected] (or use this page to submit a guest post)
- Length: 750 – 1000 words
- Image: We need an image of the author (specifications: width – 800 px. & heigh – 600 px.) with original credits
- Additional requirements:
- Author Bio: Provide an author bio (name, title, affiliation, bio, and contact). You can add a link
- Profile: Give a brief overview of the company, key information about the company, major projects, certifications, and company logo. Please submit the profile in word format
We review your submission and if it adheres to our submission guidelines and quality standards, we will connect with you before publishing the article.
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