Cybercrime is a growing problem that affects businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Cybercriminals are constantly coming up with new and advanced threats that have the potential to devastate a business. Often, cybercriminals are successful when targeting a business due to staff negligence. You could have the best cybersecurity products in place, but if your staff does not know how to stay safe when using their devices, then you could suffer from a costly breach. With this in mind, here are a few important practices to teach employees, which should help to boost security and allow your company to stay safe.
One of the most obvious pieces of advice is in relation to passwords. It is far too easy to use a simple and predictable password for all accounts (using your pet’s name, the year you or someone special was born, or a TV show that you love are common for people to use), but this is incredibly dangerous. You could find yourself facing very real threats, from stolen identities to demanding money in return for data.
While many people and businesses don’t believe they are at risk, this is foolhardy. Everybody is at risk, and everybody has something worth taking – even if it is just so that they can demand money in return. Hackers will attack anybody if given half the chance, and it won’t always be easy to recover from.
Therefore, if you and your staff are using easy to guess passwords, you are leaving yourself and your company vulnerable. Instead, you need to make sure that staff are using passwords that are random, complex, changed often – usually every 30 days ideally – and that these are different for different accounts. This can become complex for staff, but fortunately, they can use a password manager to manage all of these complex passwords.
You should also encourage staff to use two-factor authentication. This method is where, in addition to passwords, they will have another layer of security, such as a code that is texted to their smartphone, which they will need to provide to gain access. Having this extra layer of protection in place will ensure that even if one employee slips up with their password protection, not everything will fall apart. How it works is simple.
Your employees will be asked to enter their username and unique password. They will then be asked to enter a verification code (usually a 6-digital number that is sent securely to their phone), which can only be used once, and if it correct, they will be signed in.
Many employees work remotely in today’s day and age, and this can bring many advantages. However, it can also be unsafe, especially if they are working somewhere with unsecured Wi-Fi, such as a coffee shop. For your employees that aren’t in the office and are working in these environments, the risk of their computer behind hacked and their personal data and identity being stolen is increased hugely.
Once in their network, it will be all too easy for a cybercriminal to locate any details about your business, or even crucial private data that could compromise you. Instead, you should encourage them to use a VPN in this situation, which can provide a secure network that will help to keep data safe.
A VPN will block your employees’ IP address, redirecting it elsewhere. Anybody that then tries to hack into their system will be unable to track their data and browsing habits. There are both paid and free options available, and you can leave it up to your employee to choose which one they would prefer.
However, if you want complete reassurance, it might be worth installing a dependable paid service. Doing so could actually save you money in the long run.
Learn Key Terminology
Only by understanding what important terms regarding cybersecurity means can your employees understand how to use them. Education is one of the best forms of defense. So set up training sessions for the entire workforce and put together a guidebook that can help your employees understand the importance of cybersecurity. This way, they are aware of the different threats that exist, what to do in the event of one, and what each protocol for security is.
There are many key terms your team may need to know, such as phishing and hacking. However, these also include terminology relating to their cloud software, such as Cloud Access Security Broker and Secure Access Service Edge, that can seem confusing to many. Luckily, the experts at McAfee.com have created must-read guides to help your team understand fully the security they need to implement. Ensure that you and your team read the guide and fully understand how to keep everyone protected. Training will always be one of the best approaches when it comes to protecting your business, as once you have understood the key terms, it will be much easier to implement new, stronger security methods within your company.
When carrying out the essential training, you should educate your team on what the most common cybersecurity scams are, as this is often how a breach is made. The scams can be advanced and difficult to spot, so it is essential that you make this an area of priority. A few of the more common scams that they need to be aware of include:
- The Nigerian 419
- Greeting card scam
- Fake antivirus software
- Facebook impersonation
By being aware of each of these, and more, your team will be alert to any problems that arise, should a cybercriminal seek to infiltrate your business.
Every business owner needs to take steps to improve cybersecurity, as a breach could ruin the company. More often than not, a breach occurs due to a mistake made by an employee, so education is a vital step in improving cybersecurity. The above are a few key tips that you need to communicate to every member of staff to promote safety and to make sure that cybercriminals do not win.
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