This should always be at the top of your mind when it comes to cybersecurity threats. Cybercriminals are no exception. ; Whether you own a multi-million dollar company or are just starting to build your business, you are at risk. Some business owners may even think that their businesses are too small for cybercriminals to notice, but again, no one is exempt from these threats.
A key factor that some employers and even large corporations seem to overlook is educating employees about possible cyber breaches. This often leaves many employees with the impression that only the IT department should have known about it and should be able to repair any attack that might occur in the company. However, this is not true.
Often ordinary employees have been the target of numerous cyberattacks that start with a simple email. You might want to take note that some of the biggest attacks in history happened because an employee may have received a phishing email, opened it and clicked on the link which resulted in spiraling the composition data from many consumers.
While you can’t dodge every cyberattack that comes your way, you can still minimize the damage they can inflict by educating your employees on how to counter them.
So here are some tips on how you can educate your employees on cybersecurity:
Integrate cybersecurity into the onboarding process
Review your onboarding process and if it doesn’t include any cybersecurity guidance, now is the time to do it. It would also be better if your IT department is part of your onboarding activity so that it is well explained.
It is essential that you communicate to your new employees the importance and seriousness of cyber threats so that they take it seriously. As most of them are still adjusting to their new job and new environment, cyber security is quite overwhelming for them and some may just brush it off if not well. reinforced.
If you don’t guide them and teach them proper cyber security etiquette, they will likely be turned into a weak link in your business and fall as the first victim when an attack occurs.
Make it mandatory
The rule of no exemption should also apply to all your cybersecurity employees.
Regardless of their position in the company, they should be knowledgeable about cybersecurity issues and their importance. Anyone who has access to company-provided devices, such as desktops, laptops, and even mobile phones, should know and practice safe Internet browsing.
Teach them the right password combinations
Strong passwords have always been one of the best defenses against any attack. Almost all of your employees have used passwords, and if theirs aren’t strong enough, they’re not only compromising their cybersecurity but the rest of your business as well. A strong and unique password should always be used throughout your company.
Always remind your employees to follow the fundamentals of having a strong password:
Use multiple character sets – uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols. It must be at least eight characters. It must not consist of complete words. It must be unique per individual and not shared across the company. And, it must be changed regularly.
Having these password best practices can be the start of your solid organizational security plan.
Recognize phishing emails
Studying the greatest threats ever recorded in history will reveal one thing, most of them were due to human error. As cyber criminals have become so advanced in executing their plans, they are sometimes difficult to detect especially for regular employees.
Attackers can even now make an attack look like an ordinary email with ordinary web links and domains. To identify and help your employees recognize a suspicious email, you need to teach them how to recognize one with these identifiers:
Always check the sender’s email address and verify it. Pay attention to some changes in the format of the email especially if it is from a regular sender. Do not instantly click on the link without verifying it first. Always scan the attachments.
Make cybersecurity awareness a priority
Conduct regular training with your employees where you can discuss ways to know about an attack and the latest cybersecurity trend. Since, there is little to no news about security breaches that can be found in the mainstream media, it is important to update and share with each other the latest cybersecurity news you know.
These regular meetings will also strengthen your defenses since your employees remember them more often.
Perform cybersecurity testing
Since cybersecurity is not the main line of work for most of your employees, it is important to test their knowledge to find out if they have really adapted well to your cybersecurity guidelines.
Work with your IT department to create a fabricated phishing attack to see how your employees will react. You will be able to assess whether they will be able to resist the attack or if they will fail to recognize the fake email and leak sensitive information from your company. You will also be able to check if the training items you have done to strengthen your defenses are effective.
If you want to elevate your test, you can even have a third party verify your company and employee readiness. Performing cybersecurity drills lets you know where your business is weak and allows you to adjust some of your ongoing cybersecurity plans.