[Top 8 Tips] Educating Your Employees About Cyber-Security

Educating Your Employees About Cyber-Security
Cyber-attacks to your business are typically blamed on your computer hacker, that individual that writes malicious code that is designed to infiltrate your systems and steal confidential data, such as financial information. But there are those instances when such threats originate from within the company, due to ignorance on an employee’s part, as they unknowingly open the door to cyber criminals. In this article I will be presenting you with a number of tips you can use to educate your employees about cyber security. It’s very important that your employees are well versed in this area, in order to prevent any potential data breaches. So don’t get caught sitting down, make those policies, which should be geared towards protecting your employees and your company from infiltration.

1. Social Engineering Should Get The Attention It deserves

While at work in your corporate setting, you should be aware of the pitfalls tied to blogs, social media, unsolicited links and the like.

A lot of these cyber situations occur with an initial phone call, usually from someone pretending to be a co-worker asking you odd questions in their attempt to gather information about you and the company.

These cyber criminals are very difficult to point out, as rarely do they ever fit any sort of stereotype.

2. Recognising An Attack

Your employees should be trained in order to identify an attack. All organisations should have policies in place that assume that they will one day be infiltrated. You don’t want to be caught with your pants down. You want your remediation plan in hand, one that you can constantly review and update where applicable. You want to provide employees with step-by-step instructions on what they should do in the event that they are witness to an incident.

In the training you want to provide employees with the rules on proper browsing, emailing, utilisation of social networks and mobile devices. There are also the basics to include, such as unplugging machines from networks, and notifying the proper authorities about unsolicited emails, and loss of devices. All employees should have quick and easy access to an IT professional in the event of a mishap.

3. Test Your Employees Knowledge On Cyber Security

You want the test to be relevant to situations that may occur in real life.

You also want to make such tests engaging with the necessary incentives, so as to get the desired response.

4. Never Undermined Your Employees Who Raise A Red Flag

Even if the red flag is a false alarm, it’s important that you do not discourage your employees for attempting to highlight a potential issue.

If you’re frequently experiencing false alarms, then you may want to revise your approach to training.
Educating Your Employees About Cyber-Security

5. Notifications

If anything out of pocket occurs, then you want your employees to be up to speed, as soon as possible. If a cyber-incident is not properly handled or lacks transparency, this can have an adverse effect on the event. Your employees should be trained on how to properly speak to the press and the public about these kinds of incidents. A PR strategy and a communication plan should thus, be in place before anything like this ever happens. You should also consider insurance, for incidents just like this.

6. IT Staff And Top Management Are Also Employees

Top managers are typically the target of these cyber criminals; this is because they tend to have:
  • More information than anyone else.
  • Rules are typically created and/or altered to accommodate them.
  • The financial payoff tends to be much larger.
  • Their unlimited power on the company network puts everyone at risk.

7. Listen To Your Employees Complaints

If an employee finds a specific policy difficult to follow or just too restricting, then he or she will devise a way of circumventing it. If you implement a policy like, changing passwords every week, then you can expect employees to write these passwords down, and post on within their own personal workspace. If they find it difficult or complicated to access something that they require for their job, then they will go around it, and use less secure methods such as USB, email or other. You want to listen to all your employees to find out what they are dissatisfied with. You want to find alternative solutions for their problems, ones that ensure the security of both employee and company.

8. The Weakest Link

Within any network, it is only ever as strong as its weakest link. All employees should be aware that, although the organisation is doing their utmost to secure itself, it’s very important that employees are up to speed, and do their part in enforcing company procedure and policies. These policies should be extensive, covering all possible vulnerabilities.

AUTHOR_NAMEAbout the Author:
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website where he writes extensively on system security and other computer related issues and topics.
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