In J.K. Rowlings’ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor often tells students to practice “constant vigilance.”

Always being on guard or on high alert is also a good mantra for employees as a way to prevent cyberattacks.

In Defense Against the Dark Arts classes, students at the school of witchcraft and wizardry learn how to defend themselves against dark magic, which includes curses, hexes, jinxes, and threatening creatures. Cybercrime – an illegal or unethical activity committed using the internet or a computer – can take the form of malevolent emails, malware, or social media scams.

Defense Against the Dark Arts is a compulsory course for Hogwarts students, and learning how to defend against cyberattacks should be a requirement for any employees who use a computer, tablet, or smartphone as part of their work.

Information from Fintech News finds that a cyberattack occurs every 39 seconds, and that 75 per cent of cyberattacks start with an email. Fintech News also notes that human error accounts for 22 per cent of cybersecurity breaches.

While employees are one of the main causes of cybersecurity issues, they’re also one of the best mechanisms to combat against these dark arts.

According to Cisco Systems Inc., a U.S. security technology provider, staff are the number one asset for fighting cyber threats. In Your Greatest Security Asset: Employees, Cisco SVP and CISO Steve Martino says: “People are the most valuable and the most challenging part of the cybersecurity equation.”

He quotes Ponemon Institute research that found 64 per cent of  successful attacks are due to negligence of a staff member or a freelance/outsourced worker.

He notes that employees do not usually have “malicious intent,” but that they cause issues by being unaware or by being deceived. “Having an informed workforce that knows how and is actively involved in keeping the physical and extended virtual workplace as safe as possible can reduce risk due to human error.”

Velsoft’s latest softskills course – Cybersecurity 1: Fundamentals for Employees – examines how human error inadvertently contributes to successful cyberattacks, how to recognize threats, and how to practice safe cyber behavior.

Training employees to practice constant vigilance when it comes to cybersecurity is the best way to make sure an organization and its information are safe. Just ask Severus Snape, another Hogwarts’ Defense Against the Dark Arts professor: “The Dark Arts are many, varied, ever-changing and eternal. Fighting them is like fighting a many-headed monster, which, each time a neck is severed, sprouts a head even fiercer and cleverer than before. You are fighting that which is unfixed, mutating, indestructible. Your defences must therefore be as flexible and inventive as the Arts you seek to undo.”

Trainers: Make Cybersecurity 1: Fundamentals for Employees part of your offerings.