Why You Need a Human Firewall for Network Security

August 07, 2020 | Posted in:

Network Security

Posted by Tina Boutin


Does this common headline make you wonder if you have taken the right steps to protect your small and medium-sized business (SMB)? Let's assume you have a robust firewall, up-to-date antivirus, and a current patching program. Your remote employees are working from a private VPN, ensuring secure network access. You've created a password policy requiring complex passwords that must be changed frequently. And recently, you've implemented multi-factor authentication (MFA), adding extra security against compromised credentials. If this describes your network security, then you are on the right track, but have you considered the human element?

email_overloadIt is likely your employee’s field at least 130+ emails a day. These correspondences may include Protected Health Information (PHI), Personally Identifiable Information (PII), intellectual property, or other confidential data. It is also likely you have a powerful spam filtering solution in place to meet regulatory requirements and state privacy laws. The security piece you may be missing is to address the human element … your employees. According to a Verizon Data Breach Report, 1 in 14 users fall victim to phishing attempts, the number one cause of data breaches. Verizon also found that 43% of cyberattacks are targeting SMBs. So how are these attacks getting through despite all of your robust filtering software? 

Every day, hackers are finding new and innovative ways to penetrate networks. Spam filters are in place to verify the reputation of inbound emails and significantly reduce the amount of spam that lands in your Inbox. Unfortunately, hackers use tactics like social engineering to trick unsuspecting users. These deceptive tactics play on the users’ emotions to manipulate behavior. Successful hackers can end up stealing sensitive data, spreading malware, hold data for ransom, or make their way into restricted systems. Hackers count on users' lack of knowledge about the latest hacking techniques. Were you aware that over 99% of phishing attacks require some level of human interaction to succeed? This is the main reason why it is important to regularly train employees to spot potential threats. Think of this as creating a 'human firewall' within your organization. By investing in a consistent security awareness training program, your staff is better equipped to recognize social engineering and avoid deceptive tactics. They effectively become a robust 'human firewall' protecting your SMB.  

Human FirewallBarracuda Networks recently analyzed millions of emails across thousands of companies. They found small businesses, with less than 100 employees, will experience 350% more social engineering attacks than an employee of a larger enterprise.


You’re already taking proper measures to secure your network against cyberattacks. Incorporating a security awareness training program is most likely on your radar. Like many businesses, you understand the value of security awareness education for employees. The trouble is finding the bandwidth to properly administer consistent training needed to ensure a successful program.

Security Awareness Training Made Easy

Recently, Systems Engineering added a new feature to our Security Awareness Training service. We can now execute the training and testing of your employees while removing all the administrative burdens. This includes monthly setup of phishing tests sent out to each member of your staff. Additionally, training courses are given to employees who fail the monthly phishing test. 

Building up a 'human firewall' requires a regular security awareness program cadence. Studies show that businesses who have a security awareness program in place suffer fewer breaches due to human error. Let us help train and test your employees on the latest cybercriminal techniques. Enable a culture of security at your SMB to satisfy compliance requirements and reduce your cybersecurity risks. As Benjamin Franklin once famously advised, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.

If your organization could use help creating a 'human firewall', connect with us at info@systemsengineering.com, call 888.624.6737, or use the link below to speak with a trusted advisor at Systems Engineering. Customers, feel free to reach out to your account manager.  

Contact Us About Security Awareness Administration



Tina Boutin is a Project Manager at Systems Engineering, with over a decade of customer satisfaction experience. Her primary focus is on project deployment success and Security Awareness Training for clients.