Employees are the largest vulnerabilities in any workplace. So it is a better approach to teach them about basic cybersecurity. Usually, it begins with educating them on how to protect their personal information. If an employee learns how to do that, they are more likely to implement those safety rules for their day-to-day work life. As an employer or manager, it is significant to invest time in teaching your team about cybersecurity practices.
Does it make a difference if you work for a small or midsize company? Hackers often target large organizations, but smaller organizations may be even more attractive. Why? Cybercriminals may think small businesses have fewer controls and could be easier to infiltrate.
Here are some expert suggestions that you can implement to make cybersecurity training more effective and shield your business data.
- Protect your data
We always avoid sharing our personally identifiable information like social security numbers or credit card information when answering an unsolicited call or email. It is important to practice the same caution at work. Cybercriminals can create email addresses or websites that seem legitimate. Even a hacker can take over social media accounts of the company and send fake messages. It is pretty obvious to protect the company’s data, sensitive information, and intellectual property.
As an employer, you can help protect employees, customers, and data by developing and distributing business policies that cover all topics such as how to report suspicious emails or ransomware.
- Beware of unknown emails, pop-ups, and links
Phishers can trick you into clicking on a link that may cause a data breach. They target employees so that they can open pop-up windows or other links that contain viruses and malware embedded in them. Therefore, employees have to be cautious of links and attachments in emails from unauthorized senders. With a single click, you can give hackers access to your company’s computer network. Employees need to know that they shouldn’t enter personal or company information in response to an email, pop-up notification, or any other form of communication they didn’t initiate.
3. Use strong password protection
Strong passwords can help you ensure the cybersecurity of company data. Simple passwords give cybercriminals easy access, and as they know your password, they can infiltrate your company’s network. A strong or complex password consists of at least ten characters, including numbers, symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters. Companies should educate employees to change their passwords regularly. Though frequently changing passwords can be challenging, a password manager can make this task easier. To add a layer of security, companies can ask employees to implement multi-factor authentication to access sensitive network areas.
4. Secure Wi-Fi connectivity
The Wi-Fi networks in a workplace must be secure, encrypted, and hidden. If the company has remote workers, a virtual private network is a must. Public networks can be risky and make your data vulnerable to being intercepted. If the company has a VPN, make sure all the employees know how to connect to it and use it.
- Enable firewall protection
To help your data from cyberattacks, having a firewall is the first and foremost line of defense. Firewalls prevent unauthorized access to your website, mail services, and other information sources that can be accessed through the internet. Enabling a firewall on the company’s network isn’t just enough, ask employees to install one on their home network, too.
- Lock up all devices before leaving
When your employees leave to take a lunch or tea break, you have to ensure that they remember to lock their computer, tablet, or any other device that contains sensitive information. The few minutes it takes for them to grab a snack is more than enough time for a malicious insider to access valuable data. You have to get your employees in the habit of locking their devices to save your important data.
- Install an antivirus
One thing we can all agree on is that the end-user needs an antivirus because they’re far more likely to engage in riskier behavior than you are. The number of detections of ransomware is increasing exponentially. You must restrict employees to work only on their machines with an antivirus running on them. Also, make sure it is set to update automatically.
- Back up your files
Cybercriminals often aim for your data. That’s why it’s a best practice to secure and back up files in case of a data breach or a malware attack. Your company will probably have rules about how and where to back up data. Important files might be stored offline, on an external hard drive, or in the cloud.
- Use third-party controls
Insider data breaches are more common and more dangerous. Therefore, companies need to consider and limit employee access to sensitive information, like customer or client data. An employee who is in charge of accessing the confidential data must ensure that all company rules are being implemented and followed. In case an employee is in charge of hard or soft copies, they must defend the data from third-party unauthorized access. Companies can monitor these third-parties who have temporary access to the data, and remember to deactivate the access when they finish their assigned task.
- Provide ongoing cybersecurity training
You can use these tips to begin engaging your employees in an ongoing effort to protect your company from cyber threats. Try to cultivate a cybersecurity awareness culture amongst all of your employees. You must get serious about training and educating your staff regarding cybersecurity practices. Let your employees know about the company’s cybersecurity policies and what is expected of them. Smart companies take the time to train their employees and monitor their workplace activities using employee monitoring software, like Xnspy.
You can prevent a malicious data breach by educating your employees and providing them the right knowledge they need to know. As an employer, it is part of your job to engage them in safe online behavior. Practicing these cybersecurity tips could be the difference between a guarded company and one that a hacker might target.