Most people believe that the most sophisticated cyber attacks are the biggest threats to any organization. However, the biggest cyber-security threat to a business is the people that work there.
In fact, eight out of ten top data theft are as a result of human error. This includes loss of paperwork, company data emailed to the wrong address, and unprotected web pages.
This means that every employee has a vital role to play to ensure the safety of company data. As a business owner, you have to pay more attention to increasing awareness regarding cyber-security for employees.
Every business, whether big or small, could experience such threats. That is why it is absolutely important to have the right cyber prevention setup for your business to grow.
With the ever-changing digital landscape, cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated. All businesses, therefore, need to ensure the safety of their sensitive information and the security of their networks. Being up to date with the methods used by criminals and ensuring employees are also aware of obvious dangers are necessary.
This post highlights five critical tips about cyber security for employees’ awareness.
This is a term used to manipulate others so they give up their important information. It is commonly referred to as phishing.
Based on an investigation report by Verizon, 93 percent of data breaches are as a result of pretexting and phishing. Educate people working for you to be cautious while opening an email or communicating with clients on social media. They should be wary of pretext such as:
- A request for sudden help: Your friend traveled to a different country and is currently stranded. He needs some money immediately so he can return home.
- Give to a charity: The reason for the fundraiser might be honest, but the payment link might not be.
- A request that you verify some information: Requests like this seem official and come from an email disguised as from your bank.
- An unusual request from your co-worker: If a co-worker asks for information regarding a project the organization is carrying out.
- You’ve won a prize: These messages appear to be from your lawyer, a lottery, or the IRS for a deal that is nonexistent.
Cyber criminals usually succeed with most of these phishing messages employees act without giving much thought. Train your workers to pause and analyze situations before responding to such emails.
According to research conducted in 2017 by OneLogin, less than 31 percent of IT services require their employees to change passwords monthly. Password management is a major challenge for business owners as it regards cyber security. With IT decision-makers failing to remind employees, there needs to be a major change in attitude if you want to improve your cyber security.
Additionally, teach your workers to make use of strong passwords. Trace Security conducted research and discovered that 81 percent of data theft is connected to weak passwords. When selecting strong passwords, keep the following in mind:
- Use a combination of numbers, letters, and special characters.
- Get creative.
- Choose something you can remember and that is impossible to be guessed.
- Avoid using personal information like your name, pet names, birth dates, and family names.
- Don’t share your passwords with anybody.
- Use a password that is unique for every device.
- Regularly change your passwords.
Most businesses depend on emails daily for both external and internal communications. Since emails are the primary delivery methods for computer malware, employees need to know how to responsibly use them. They should exhibit caution when clicking on emails and opening attachments under these conditions:
- Received from a strange email
- An unusual tone
- Having strange characters and wrong spellings
- Your antivirus doesn’t clear the file
- The attachment seems unusual
A quick way for viruses to infect your computers is by downloading software from sources that are unknown. Even software that appears innocent, such as a game, could have ransomware, spyware or other malicious codes. Have a policy in place regarding what software employees can and cannot install on company computers.
5Using the internet
Carry out training for your employees to avoid opening unfamiliar links on the internet or from sources that seem suspicious. Such links might download malicious software that could potentially infect your computers and put them at risk. Establish safe browsing guidelines for using the internet in the office, and let your IT support workers educate other employees on these rules.
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Author: David Share
David has held positions as Operations Director and Head of IT in legal and professional firms for more than 10 years. He is a Director and co-owner of Amazing Support, a Microsoft Silver & Cyber Essentials accredited specialist Managed IT Support and Cyber Security company. David actively helps SME businesses receive better Managed IT Support and Cyber Security Services in the London and Hertfordshire areas.