Most people are well aware of the very real threat of data breaches and cyber attacks, as they constantly make their way into headlines over and over again. Making sure your data is not at risk is crucial, and properly educating your employees is an important component of doing so.
Employees are often at fault for security breaches, and more times than not it is done so unknowingly. Too often attackers are able to prey on the negligence or lack of education of employees to gain access to important and sensitive data. Training and educating employees can help minimize the risk posed to your data, and make your workforce more aware of the potential threats, and how to navigate them.
- Regular and Open Communication – It is important to communicate openly and effectively with employees, especially in regards to cybersecurity. Take to the time to educate your employees on the potential impact of a breach, and be sure to clearly define the employee’s duties in protecting the network.
- Include Management and IT Staff In the Education – Cybersecurity training needs to be the standard for all employees, including IT staff and upper management. Anybody who uses company assets needs to know how to do so safely. IT staff need to be well informed because of their unrestricted access to the network, and management needs to understand the policies and practices for mobile access, and understand they have access to some of the companies most vulnerable data.
- The System Is Only Secure As It’s Weakest Link – It is critical to make sure all employees understand that you make ever reasonable effort to ensure the company infrastructure is secure, but they play a large role in this as well. It is important they are not only compliant, but offer full cooperation in working to implement and maintain a policy that covers all possible attack vectors. Human error is unavoidable, but awareness and help to minimize instances.
- Conduct Focused Sessions To Educate – New employees join the team all the time, and cybersecurity training should be part of their training and orientation experience as they could be using the systems non-compliantly for some time before regular training sessions occur. Make sure these sessions are compiled of the most useful information and consider presenting it in an original way to make it more effective. Use relevant examples to illustrate, such as social media, or current news stories.
- Use Extra Caution Around Social Engineering Activities – All employees need to know to be aware of social media and suspicious links found in blogs and unknown sources while at work, or on work devices. Caution is a must, as many cybercriminals are unobvious and often pose as somebody who wouldn’t be suspect of such activity.
- Attack Recognition Training – Always develop your policies with the assumption you will suffer an attack at some point. Make sure the response plan is well documented and known, and that it is reviewed and updated on a regular basis. Employees need to know exactly how to proceed if they become aware of an incident. Training should clearly outline the rules for both email and web browsing, as well as social media and mobile devices.
- Encourage Employees To Speak Up Or Act On Concerns – You want to make sure your employees feel confident and comfortable red-flagging anything that causes them concern or alarm. A false alarm is better than suffering an attack, and proper training can ensure there are minimal false alarms reported.
- Keep Your Employees In The Know During Incidents – Transparency goes a long way in matters such as these. Keeping employees well informed can help reduce the impact of the incident. Make sure employees are well instructed on how to speak of the event publicly, and ensure there is a plan in place before an event ever occurs. You may also wish to consider insurance for cyberincidents.
- Regularly Test Employee Knowledge – It is easy to gauge the knowledge and understanding your employees have of cybersecurity by regularly testing and reviewing their knowledge. Results will indicate where further training is necessary.
- Listen and Be Responsive To Feedback – If your employees feel comfortable approaching you and offering your feedback the information they provide can be very beneficial. They will tell you where policies need to improve in regards to accessing the information they need to do their jobs, how manageable guidelines are, and where they can see room for improvement. Listening to their feedback can provide insight into the cause of root problems.
When aligning with Hammett Technologies as your technology partner we help you through the training and education process by providing education for our client user base on an annual basis in an effort to better protect our client’s data and system.
Do you need help managing your cybersecurity needs, policies, and protocols? Contact the experts at (443) 216-9999 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how we can help you.