One cybersecurity research revealed that 95% of data breaches in businesses are directly related to employee actions. This usually occurs when an employee unknowingly breaches the cybersecurity protocol and falls for ploys by the cyberattackers and hackers. That is why it has become increasingly significant to equip all employees with knowledge on detecting any suspicious actions that could lead to a breach. So, how can you equip your first line of defense against common cyber threats? Let us give you some tips on training your employees about cybersecurity to reduce the possibilities of costly data breaches.
Create cybersecurity awareness
Computer technology and the internet are more or less must-have if you are looking to boost your business productivity. On the flip side, as more people and businesses adopt tech, it also means that cybercriminals have a place to harvest. Yes, cybercrime is a growing concern, plus attacks are getting more sophisticated. One way to stay safe is to keep your employees up to date with the cybersecurity dynamics.
Drive your message home on the latest cyber trends, albeit make them easy to understand. For example, employees ought to know that businesses are the biggest target of attacks. It would be best if you made it a culture to take precautions without creating paranoia. Keeping your employees up to scratch with recent cybersecurity attacks will keep you safe. They will be more aware and raise the alarm when they spot anything suspicious.
Enlighten your employees on password security
Most data breaches occur due to weak passwords. A study done by Precise Security in 2019 found that weak passwords contributed to 30% of ransomware attacks in businesses. Well, passwords allow access to your business organization platforms and critical information. Any breach by an unauthorized third party could lead to massive financial repercussions and loss of trust. As a business, ensure that you implement strong passwords that are hard to meddle with. Perhaps, you are wondering what a strong password is? As a rule of thumb, ensure you train employees on the following pertaining passwords:
- Passwords should have at least eight characters: A long password is hard to guess and brute-force. Ensure that your employees use passwords that are long enough and difficult to meddle.
- They should be a mix of letters, symbols and numbers: a password with uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers is significantly hard to crack.
- They should be changed regularly: ensure that your employees change their passwords after six or so weeks of use. This makes it impossible for hackers to guess.
- They shouldn’t use predictable words or events: employees should not use their date of birth, names or nicknames as passwords; as such are predictable and could give easy access to your systems.
- They should avoid using a password on multiple accounts: the password used to access your business systems should be different from your employees’ use to access their personal accounts on social media or other devices. This reduces the risks of them falling into the wrong hands and being used illegally to access your systems.
To make it easy for your employees, you can use password manager tools that generate strong passwords and remember for every account that your team members use. This will ensure that there is further security for your systems.
Train employees on mobile device security
The use of personal devices in the workplace is now becoming another norm. Research indicates that employees who use personal devices at the workplace are more productive and work more effectively. It explains why many businesses are implementing the Bring your Own Device (BYOD) policy. However, the use of mobile devices could also predispose your company data to cyberattacks.
Think of it this way; your employees use devices on other networks that might not be secure. Devices can also be lost with critical business data.
The best approach is to inculcate this into your cybersecurity training. It is crucial to educate your employees on the extent to which they can use their mobile devices for work. Besides, you should ensure that your business has a proper mobile device management software which will help in managing a BYOD model in your business. The software helps in tracking the activities on mobile devices that involve your company data. It makes it possible to map out your mobile access architecture and seal any loopholes that might be a threat to your business.
Train employees to identify phishing attempts
Phishing is an attempt by the cyber attacker who poses a legitimate institution to lure information from their target, including your employees. Research shows that 56% of IT leaders in various industries have confessed to a phishing problem. Security experts expect that this will be an even bigger concern in the coming years. So, it is important to enlighten your employees on phishing and how to respond to attack attempts.
For example, train them to recognize suspicious emails. A case example is an email informing them that they have won a prize to click on given links that allow the hacker permission to your systems. Other forms of phishing that they should be aware of include:
- Web phishing
- Spear phishing; and
- C-Level email impersonation.
There is no doubt that phishing training is a cornerstone of cybersecurity awareness training for your employees.
Implementing tech in business comes with the challenges like cyberattacks, which could also be costly to you. It is always good to take precautions, rather than be sorry later. Again, employees are mostly a weak link in the fight. The best place to start your defense is to train them on best practices to prevent cyberattacks.
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