The majority of business is performed online in today’s hyper-connected world.
That’s why protecting your data is just as important as securing your physical office location.
Cybersecurity impacts every business, no matter the size. There are many threats that loom online and your employees can be the weak link in security.
Cybersecurity training for employees should be an important part of any data security plan.
Top Cybersecurity Threats Your Employees Need To Know
Below are a few of the top cybersecurity threats that your employees need to be aware of.
Phishing is a malicious attack that tries to trick individuals into providing sensitive information like passwords or account details.
These attacks usually come via email enticing you to click external links that contain malware. They can also occur via social media, text messaging, and even through phone calls.
What makes phishing so dangerous is that most people don’t realize they’re being attacked. The large volume of messages sent usually leads to somebody getting caught.
Ransomware is a form of malware that blocks access to your computer or data until a ransom is paid.
These types of attacks tend to make headlines for extracting billions of dollars from businesses.
Most recently, a hospital in Indiana was forced to pay $55,000 to regain access to its data.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security reports an increase in ransomware attacks and notes that data recovery isn’t always guaranteed.
The best way to reduce your risk of ransomware attacks is to train your employees to recognize the signs of a ransomware attack such as files that won’t open, missing file extensions, or lock screens that prevent access to information.
Other cybersecurity measures you can take are to restrict employee access to some of your most sensitive data and perform regular backups of important information.
Passwords Best Practices
Although having strong passwords is a relatively low-tech method of security, it is one of the most fundamental and practical ways to enhance cybersecurity.
Unfortunately, this is also one of the least practiced security measures according to the Center for Internet Security.
The good news is that creating good passwords isn’t difficult and they can go a long way in securing your system.
With a few quick password guidelines, your employees can make sure their passwords are good enough to protect your business from the risk of a data breach.
Breach fatigue is the slow cultural acceptance and normalization of data breaches.
This isn’t surprising, given the almost daily news reports of new data breaches. Just recently it was reported that Marriott had about 500 million guest’s information stolen.
Data breach fatigue is a real and dangerous problem because it could lead to your employees being less inclined to follow the right protocols.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to fight breach fatigue. Work to change workplace attitudes around data security by frequently reminding employees about the potential dangers.
Tips For Teaching Cybersecurity To Your Employees
Cybersecurity may seem like something that no one in your company needs to be aware of besides your tech team. Not so!
Cybersecurity is the responsibility of every employee because they all have access to your network and data.
Impressing upon them the importance of following protocols and staying alert is only the start.
Getting them to care means that they need more than just a five-minute employee training or e-learning class when they join the company.
Cybersecurity needs to be part of your company’s culture and everyone has to care about keeping your systems secure.
Key Cybersecurity Strategies For Training Employees
Perform Live-Fire Training Sessions
Users in this simulation undergo what an attack would be like. Much of the time, this type of exercise is carried out with phishing attack tests.
Your IT provider or department can run phishing simulations to send out fake emails to see who “bites.”
You can then share those results with your team along with additional best practices on how to avoid phishing schemes.
Start Cyber Awareness From Day One
Keeping employees aware and engaged with cybersecurity can be started from day one.
On the first day of employment, new hires should participate in cybersecurity training. When they see that your company has a commitment to security, it will easily become part of their day.
Teach them from the start what your security protocols are and how you expect them to engage with sensitive data.
For example, you may need to inform them that any time they’re working remotely they must use a VPN for enhanced security. In-office security is essential too, like teaching them always to lock their screens when they leave their desk.
Routine security awareness training programs can continuously bolster your employee’s education and familiarity with cybersecurity best practices.
Communicate the Ongoing Importance of Cybersecurity
No company wants to be in a headline that includes the words ‘data breach’.
To keep your business secure, communication could be your greatest tool.
Develop a plan that will be ongoing and continues to communicate policies, procedures, and the latest news in cybersecurity.
Being this open with communication and teaching also helps you break down silos so employees can work together to ensure security is always top of mind.
Designate Cybersecurity Culture Advocates
Every department should have a cybersecurity culture advocate.
This advocate acts as an extension of your IT team, always motivating and teaching employees about cybersecurity.
This designation will further help your entire company understand the day-to-day importance of being cyber aware.
Cybercrime can occur when you least expect it and cybersecurity begins with the employees who run the data systems that your business relies on.
Contact your managed IT services provider to help to ensure your employees have the proper training to keep your business safe from the inside out.