News travels faster online than any other medium. According to a recent Bank of America Merchant Services report, 30% of respondents said they would permanently end a relationship with a small business that suffered a data breach. That’s why companies invest heavily in IT infrastructure to prevent cyberattacks and data breaches that can irreversibly damage their reputation.
Cybersecurity starts with a strong defense, and one of the most critical ways to start implementing your plan is to invest in employee training. The cyber security tips outlined in this article cover several areas that include training, working on-premises and remote working. They are an essential starting point for creating a strategy to protect your data, infrastructure, and the overall reputation of your business.
Cybersecurity Training Tips
Awareness of threats is the key to preventing cyber attacks. Employees can be trained to recognize various types of attacks and how hackers can take advantage of security vulnerabilities.
The following tips can help inform and train employees while convincing them that they are the first line of defense in preventing cyber attacks:
- Start training early in the onboarding process and fuse security measures with regular work duties
- Create ongoing training levels that employees can complete and tie their progress to increased benefits and pay raises
- Show how workplace security measures can secure their personal data and prevent identity theft
- Teach them how hackers gain access and profit from data breaches
- Provide examples demonstrating the extent of damage cyber attacks can cause to businesses and individuals
- Make cybersecurity an essential part of the company newsletter by giving it its own section
- Create incentives that reward employees that submit reports concerning suspicious emails or applications
Online Safety Cybersecurity Tips
The internet is a minefield of cybersecurity threats that can infect your network infrastructure and expose data. The following list of tips ensures that employees remain proactive in the event they are assaulted with malicious code that can infect their devices and expose sensitive information.
- Use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) - they can encrypt data and act as an additional layer over your private network when employees visit websites
- Never send sensitive data or passwords through social media, email or SMS - personal data should only be sent through applications verified by service providers
- Avoid phishing scams - email messages from unknown senders may contain malicious code or instructions (such as a software update) that prompt users to send sensitive data. Always check the sender’s email address to ensure that it is from a verified financial institution
- Avoid using public networks to conduct transactions - public Wi Fi services have security flaws that can expose sensitive data when accessing a company application or bank account
- Never use unknown devices to conduct transactions using private data - always use company-provided computers and mobile devices when sending personal information or executing transactions with a debit or credit card
Workplace Cybersecurity Tips
The following workplace cybersecurity tips can help prevent a cyber attack and keep valuable company and client data safe:
- Lock all devices when not in use - any time you leave your device unattended, make sure to secure it with a password
- Encrypt all data on the network, including all databases and devices
- Backup data - secure backups ensure that information is preserved in the event of an emergency
- Scan all external devices that are connected to company computers such as flash drives, mobile phones and external hard drives
- Use a password manager - password management application can generate unique passwords that contain a mix of numbers, lower and upper case letters, and other special characters for increased security when using applications
- Add additional layers of security with multi-factor authentication
Cybersecurity Tips for Remote Workers
The prevalence of remote work has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years - sometimes outpacing the implementation of safety measures that ensure data security. The following actions can be taken to seal security vulnerabilities and prevent cyber attacks:
- Implement a mobile device management application that can remotely wipe a drive clean if it’s ever lost or stolen
- Provide a secure data plan that employees can use instead of public wifi networks
- Educate employees on ways to secure their residential WiFi connection in order to prevent the possibility of a data breach
Prevent data loss with professional security services
Investment in cyberecurity services costs far less than repairing the damage of a cyber attack. Professional security services can enhance the safety of your data in the following ways:
- Secure document management - can keep your data safe through the use of strong passwords, access restrictions, invisible folders, and confidential contract fixes
- Cloud-based solutions - allow you to leverage first-in-class third-party data security infrastructure that keeps documents safer when compared to hard copy and legacy local file systems
- Enhanced network security - keeps data safe on network devices such as WiFi, laser printers, mobile devices, and cloud services
- Remote monitoring - guards your network infrastructure off-premises, ensuring a professional is always on the lookout for network issues and security breaches
The business world is undergoing a digital revolution that is fueled by data. As the internet grows, so do incentives for hackers to extract data on any company network, irrespective of its size.
Businesses can fight back through a solid cybersecurity plan that starts with employee awareness and builds progressively with comprehensive training.
Besides reducing threats, cybersecurity training allows companies to integrate employees into an essential part of the business that can earn them incentives and increase morale. When fused with professional security services, these two components make a stellar combination that can protect your data, secure your infrastructure, and safeguard your valuable company reputation.