With data and company processes moving more and more online, cybersecurity is one of the most important things for your company. However, as the actions of every employee influence a company’s overall security, it’s important to make sure your system is secure from the bottom up. Even though an individual’s mistake could result in a data breach, employees shouldn’t be blamed; it’s each company’s job to adequately train its employees in cybersecurity.
First, it’s important that employee training is a priority for the company. You could have the best training practices in the world, but if the manpower and time aren’t allotted, you’re not going to get good results. A company’s cybersecurity is only as strong as its weakest link, and often, that’s an untrained employee. Second, as a part of onboarding and routine training, you should highlight cybersecurity as a priority. These days, cybersecurity is almost as important as the job an employee is tasked with and should be thought of as a necessary part of training.
So with that out of the way, what does a company really need to teach its employees? First, it’s crucial to teach good password security habits and best practices. It helps to use longer and more complex passwords, but ultimately, it’s best to use a service such as LastPass or 1Password. Such services auto generate individual, incredibly complex passwords for each of your accounts, locked behind one, the long and complex password you can remember. This ensures that your accounts are incredibly difficult to attack via brute-force, and if they do get hacked, each account will be separately secured.
Next, it’s important to train employees to understand and notice social engineering attacks. If all of your employee’s passwords are secure, the only way for a potential attacker to compromise your system would be to phish or get those passwords from the employees themselves. Spoofed emails, URLs, and websites are becoming more common and are used to perform man-in-the-middle attacks. Your employees could think they’re merely signing into a work account but could really be sending their passwords directly to bad actors. Infosec recommends these 5 simple steps to combat phishing and social engineering attacks:
- Confirm sender email or phone number
- Make sure the email format is professional
- Make a phone call to the sender before fulfilling a strange request (just to make sure nothing is fishy)
- Hover over links to verify their authenticity
- Don’t click on attachments from unverified sources
Finally, to make sure your training is working and to give your employees real experience, it’s recommended to perform live, simulated attacks. There are many vendors that will perform such attacks for you or you could perform them in-house. Drills like this will help your company learn progressively how to deal with social engineering attacks and could be crucial in reinforcing your training.
Cybersecurity, overall, is one of the most important aspects of employee training right now. With frequent news stories coming out about data breaches, your company’s cybersecurity is also an aspect of your public relations. A large-scale data breach could tarnish your company’s record and lose future clients or customers. To combat these malicious attacks, you must train your employees better and with a focus on cybersecurity awareness.