7 Cyber Security Basics to Teach Your Employees

Cyber Security Basics

When people hear “cyber crime,” they will
often picture a malicious, shadowy figure doing complex hacking to break into a
system. The reality is that the danger is much more likely to be from your own
staff.

Employee negligence is the biggest risk to cyber security for American
companies, with human error being the main cause behind 47 percent of data
breaches in a 2018 survey. In order to fight this, managers need to train their
staff to identify risks, protect company data, and use different security tools
effectively.

Clean Desk Policy

Papers and documents on an employee’s desk
present a significant security risk. A clean desk policy dictates how these
should be stored and ensures desks are kept clear of sensitive information. Best practices include making sure you have
the policy in writing, communicate it often, enforce it all levels of the
organization, and provide appropriate storage options. You should also
encourage a culture of prioritizing digital files over print-outs.

Identifying Phishing

Phishing (getting you to click on a malicious
link or file) is one of the simplest and most common ways that hackers try to
take advantage of your employees. Luckily, while some phishing emails are
exceptionally well-made, the vast majority of them can be spotted from a mile
away.

According to CNET, a combination of common sense, grammar
and spelling checks, protective browser extensions, and a healthy amount of
suspicion toward any email that tells you to “act immediately” will help you
identify most scams.

Updating Software

Out-of-date software is vulnerable software.
All employees need to know the importance of keeping all software updated,
including any necessary patches. However, simply clicking the “Update” button
whenever prompted doesn’t quite cut it because several vulnerabilities will be
harder to spot and keep track of. A patch-management system is an extremely
useful tool for this, and there are several free options available for businesses on a
budget.

Smart Password Management

Common password errors made by employees include
using weak passwords, using the same password for everything, and writing down
passwords in unsafe places (like a post-it on the screen). A password manager
can solve all of these problems, giving your employees a central location in
which to securely store complex, individual passwords. Wirecutter rates 1Password as the best
available, with the free version of LastPass being the top budget choice.

Social Media Awareness

While employees are usually told to positively
represent the company online, little is said about the potential of social
media to affect security. According to Forbes, social media posts by employees are
often used to tailor attacks like phishing emails, so people should be careful
about the information they share online. Also, access to company social media
accounts should be spread among several people, and passwords should be stored
on a password manager.

Using a VPN

According to PC Mag, any company that stores important data
in the cloud or that employs remote staff should be looking to protect their
connections with a VPN. Essentially, a VPN provides secure encryption and
connection at a fraction of the price of more complex security systems. Make
sure any staff using the VPN connection is fully trained in what it does and
how to use it effectively and professionally.

Data Recovery Plan

Your company should have an overall data
recovery policy, but it can also be useful to teach your employees how they can
quickly react to data loss. Secure Data Recovery has an extensive guide to
data recovery and data breach protection for several types of operating
systems. Simply identifying which sections are relevant to your company and
circulating this information can help protect your company’s data.

Remember that staff training should be
ongoing. Most of the above practices will take time to become second nature for
employees, so it’s up to you to provide regular reminders and incorporate
security into the company culture. It will take a bit of time, but with the
right tools and training, you will end up with a business that is significantly
better protected against cyber crime.

The post 7 Cyber Security Basics to Teach Your Employees appeared first on 4 Corner IT.

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