Cybersecurity Tips for Your Employees
The weakest security point in your business may be your own people. The best security tools you have can be bypassed by an employee’s access, once compromised. This means that one of your top priorities for ensuring security of your data should be making sure that your people are well-prepared for any and all cyber threats that may target them. Here are a few tips to help.
Browse with Care
One of the best things about the internet is that you and your employees can access critical information from anywhere with a connection so you can get your work done. However, that’s also a security flaw. Information accessed from poorly secured programs or devices is vulnerable and can be intercepted and stolen. Ensure that all employees have a secure way to reach critical files, whether working from home or in some other remote location.
Spammers and hackers have gotten sneakier as time has gone by. They can spoof email addresses and make their messages look legitimate, which can trick well-meaning employees into compromising the business’s files. Make sure your employees know how to confirm the validity of any and all links and sites they visit.
Understand the Danger
Another problem is that many employees simply don’t realize that they’re a potential target. They may not fully understand exactly what information a dedicated hacker may seek to get from them, if they’re not careful. So be sure your employees understand the security risks they face and what can happen that if they’re not vigilant.
Verify Requests for Information
Cybersecurity threats aren’t always online. Real-life social engineering occurs just as often. Any calls or requests for sensitive information should first be verified. Your employees should either confirm the person’s credentials or request confirmation/permission from a supervisor prior to releasing any information.
Strong Passwords Make for Strong Security
Passwords are the first line of defense against malicious attacks, and they’re very important. Today, eight (8) character passwords are insufficient and are not considered to be strong. Ensure everyone on your team creates long passwords which should include a mix of upper and lowercase characters, symbols and numbers, ensuring it is as strong and hack-proof as possible.
Keep Devices Secure
Losing or misplacing a device can have dire consequences for your company. Mistakes will happen, so what you can do is minimize the damage those mistakes can cause. Ensure that office devices – whether handheld or desktop – lock after being left unattended. Do the same for mobile storage devices, such as flash drives and portable hard drives.
Keep Important Data Under Wraps
Social media is notoriously unsafe. Ensure your employees know the importance of keeping critical company information private. You should educate your employees on what information is OK to release and what should be kept off the Internet. The unauthorized posting of company information is a serious offence and all employees should be aware of this.
Make Sure the IT Team Monitors Account Activity
Most employees are unaware of the types of actions a hacker may utilize and are not trained to monitor account activity, which could allow a hacker to bleed out company information without anyone noticing until it’s too late. Your IT department should back-up your employees by actively monitoring outbound and inbound data movement.
Isolate the Environment Whenever Possible
Sometimes, it’s not the people themselves who will compromise company security, but the objects they bring with them. Malware and ransom hacks can sneak in through a compromised flash drive or smartphone. If your company provides devices to employees, ensure they understand the importance of keeping their devices environment clean and how to prevent it from coming into contact with unsecured networks, apps or machines.
Keep Your Software Updated
Most software, whether security software or operating systems, will regularly update itself to keep up-to-date on recently developed protocols and to protect themselves from new attacks and hacks. While annoying, these updates are necessary and can keep you protected without your having to take any action yourself. On a regular basis, review your software to ensure it is updated and current.
The importance of cybersecurity cannot be understated. The connectivity that allows businesses to flourish globally can also harm your business irreparably if you are not protected. Industry leaders do everything they can by taking preventive actions to avoid the risk and loss associated with a security breach. Creating comprehensive security guidelines for your business and ensuring your employees are properly trained in those guidelines, will help maintain business continuity while avoiding the unnecessary cost, downtime and stress resulting from a security breach.