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Human firewall

Human firewall

Human firewall definition

A human firewall is the practice of empowering employees in an organization to recognize and respond effectively to cybersecurity threats. Technology alone can’t provide complete protection against cyber threats — the behavior of employees significantly impacts an organization’s cybersecurity posture.

An organization’s members must recognize common threats like phishing or social engineering attempts and apply cybersecurity practices like strong passwords and updating software.

See also: social engineering

Examples of a human firewall in practice

  • Cybersecurity training. It usually covers best cybersecurity practices and the most common threats.
  • Phishing simulations. Many organizations use simulated phishing attacks to provide practical training for their employees. These controlled exercises reveal how well employees recognize and respond to phishing attempts and offer data to refine future training sessions.
  • Reporting. A critical part of the human firewall is creating an environment where employees feel comfortable reporting potential threats or suspicious activities. This can involve setting up dedicated reporting channels, ensuring anonymity for reporters, and fostering a culture that values security.
  • Social engineering awareness. These sessions often include modules that teach employees about social engineering methods and how to resist them.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security