7 things you should be doing to Increase your Cyber Security Awareness for Employees
Your business is your livelihood and so protecting it from cyberthreats should be a priority, right? For this very reason, cybersecurity should be something that has holistic awareness across your entire company.
Given the significance of risk, your staff must be aware of the risk and impact of any security breaches and/or attacks. So, let us take a look some of things you should be doing to protect your users and to ensure they have the right level of cyber awareness.
1. Make your employees an active part of your Cybersecurity policy
Your employees should be your first line of defense against any cyberattack. While you can use antivirus software to help deal with some of the security breach threats, your staff presents a formidable resource if you can train them correctly.
Knowledge is awareness and training is learning. Empower your employees to see the risk and impact of cyber threats. Train them in how to spot issues and how to act in the event of identified risks. Make them cognisant of the impact of a breach and how it can impact the company, its reputation and ultimately its existence.
By making cybersecurity relevant to the staff, you will see them proactive in following security practices. No one wants to be the one responsible for ruining the livelihoods of other people.
2. Let them understand their part in Cybersecurity
The primary role your staff has in maintaining security is vigilance when they are handling data. Most cybersecurity issues are caused by human error and not brute force tactics. They can be easily misled, be distracted, or get careless.
Your employees should be trained to understand and identify risks and these include;
> Sending email with sensitive information to the wrong address
> Using a work computer on a Public Wi-Fi
> Using USBs from home in the workplace
> Being careless while on social media
> Clicking on suspect files and unverified links
> Being deceived by phishing emails
These seemingly simple acts happen regularly and have a significant impact on the company’s cybersecurity. Your staff needs to actively watch out for such errors to avoid them.
3. Account for the security of your business partners
Your business does not operate in a vacuum. You interact with partners, like clients and contractors. Reach out to them to ensure they have robust data security policies. There will be instances you must share information, and you should have confidence; it is secure. You should be able to assure your clients that their data is secured at every point, including with any third-party service provider.
You should apply the same diligence to contractors coming to your premises. Ensure any of the data they handle is secure. Also, create a limited guest network separate from your main networks so that visitors to your site can use Wi-Fi without posing a risk to them.
4. Keep your digital footprint clean and secure
You must keep digital hygiene at every point. For starters, all financial transactions should be done in a highly secure manner and environment. Conduct them over a secure network which should ideally be your own. Also, use multiple-factor authentication at all points to restrict access. Do not use open-source software when conducting financial transactions since there is a probability that the code could have unvetted vulnerabilities.
Internet of Things devices also needs extra attention because they have a high potential for vulnerability. The first step is to change all default passwords to prevent easy hacks and lead to larger cyber-attacks. Unprotect IoT devices can be a gateway to your whole system. Handling of the passwords to these devices should be automatic, which allows for regular changes.
Next, ensure you have the best antivirus and anti-malware protection. Keep the subscriptions up to date. This software helps you protect the other entry points since you have fortified the human end.
Finally, ensure you create an environment that allows employees to point out any suspicious activity they see. An employee detecting something unusual like a suspicious email can be the early alert you need to stop an attack before any significant damage. Encourage employees to speak up without fear of ridicule or have their concerns ignored.
5. Provide regular training
Hold cybersecurity training ideally twice a year. It will ensure employees easily retain the information and keep up to date with new threats and security practices. Inform all your staff members of the reasons various changes or measures are in place. Also, training content should reflect the different levels of your staff.
The main points can help design a checklist for spotting red flags. The simpler the training, the more information they can retain and use daily. To further help them in this regard, make desktop cards or use rotating reminders strategically on login dashboards.
6. Appraise your cybersecurity practices every three months
Do not take long to appraise your cybersecurity practices. Send a report review to the employees highlighting their performance. Evaluate the statistics to see if you can notice an improvement and return on the company’s investment.
If there is none, investigate the reason why. Your communication should have key messages which will help you measure later to review their impact. Make sure your review factors in employees’ feedback which help you refine your communication.
7. Use all the departments' resources.
Cybersecurity awareness should not be left to the IT department only. You already have departments in your company with expertise and experience in training and policymaking. Work together with these departments like HR, Legal support, and marketing to add security protocols into company policy.
Don’t hesitate to draw on your legal support, HR, and marketing departments’ experience and knowledge. These teams will offer considerations like training methods, legal requirements, and ways to incorporate cybersecurity protocol as policy. New hires can be trained from the outset as part of their induction to the company.
We trust that this blog has made you think about your employee training and awareness of Cybersecurity and to perhaps view security as a holistic need across your company.
If you like the sound of the ‘hands-off’ experience and having your IT and Cybersecurity taken care of by highly trained professionals, we would love to hear from you. Call our friendly team of experts on 0345 314 2001 for a relaxed chat about how we can make all this happen for you. Our team is ready and waiting to help in any way they can.
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