Employees Role In Cybersecurity
One of the critical aspects of a business is cybersecurity and we cannot emphasize it enough. You might think that most cyberattacks are done by hackers trying to force their way into your system, but most data breaches occur due to human error.
Why employees should care
Employees are the biggest weakness of a company’s IT security. Like we’ve mentioned a few times, employees are the first line of defense against cyberattacks and if they don’t have the proper training or knowledge when it comes to cybercrimes and cybersecurity, your company’s IT security strategy will fail and your business will be at risk.
Human errors can be intentional or unintentional and that is one of the things you need to be aware of, as an employer.
What employees should be doing to combat cyberattacks
1. Being smart when working outside the office
Since the BYOD policy has been implemented for most companies, the number of employees doing work using their laptops and smartphones is increasing. This is caused by contributing factors such as public Wi-Fi and how it allows employees to be flexible and do their meetings in a café.
However, while it’s convenient to have that kind of flexibility at work, allowing employees to use public Wi-Fi with their devices is unsafe. Cybercriminals can easily get access to your employee’s data or even sensitive business information through public networks.
In situations where they would have no options but to use public Wi-Fi, ensure that employees are equipped with knowledge on how to protect their data:
- Don’t log in to apps using their social media profiles, like Facebook authentication.
- Ensure they only download supported and legitimate apps
- Ensure they use 2FA (Two-factor authentication)
- Don’t leave their devices unattended and always lock their screen.
2. Following Password Policies
Instill the importance of strong passwords. Employees often prefer simple passwords that they can easily remember but that shouldn’t be practiced. Passwords that are somehow related to an employee’s identification, like birthdays or pet names, can easily be cracked and will allow hackers to breach your company’s system faster.
Implement multi-factor authentication for an extra layer of protection. Also, for employees to generate or create strong passwords that even they can’t remember, provide them with password management tools that will allow them to store and quickly access their accounts with the added security feature.
It’s just not about strong passwords but changing it frequently. Take the time to change your email, social media, and other online account password details. Passwords that are the most difficult to crack are those with capital letters, symbols, and numbers.
3. Mobile Device Security
If employees are allowed to bring their own devices and use them for work, there’s a chance that it can be lost or stolen. In order to protect your business information from their mobile devices, have them report these types of situations immediately so any mishandling can be managed.
Also, established a policy that indicates what work-related activities are allowed on their mobile devices to limit the exposure to a data breach. Have them install anti-virus and anti-malware software to combat any attempted access.
Provide full disk encryption on mobile devices to prevent cyber thieves from reading the data once it is lost or stolen, and also take advantage of the built-in security controls such as screen lock and failed log-in attempts.
4. Data and Internet Usage
Ensure there are clear rules laid down when employees are connected to the business network. Provide policies that will ensure the company data’s protection. One, specify that company emails are only to be used at work and personal emails should be restricted.
Second, portable storage devices should be prohibited unless it is provided by the company and scanned for any threats. Rules that aren’t too complex are important, and you can get employee’s insights on what they need access to.
Unless it’s necessary for the job, you can limit employees’ access to websites that aren’t important, such as social media accounts or online video streaming. These will allow employees to focus on the task at hand and to also avoid going to fraudulent websites that may potentially breach through your network.
5. Consistent Training
Keep employee’s cybersecurity awareness up by providing constant training consistently. There are different tools out there that you can use to disseminate information on cybersecurity using video, such as Microsoft Stream.
Informal training can also help them learn and be informed without sitting for long hours in a seminar about cybersecurity. Also, keep communication lines open in case of any incident or employees having concerns to reduce risk and improve response time.
As an employee, they need to understand a certain risk and learn the importance of security to the company.
Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility
With proper knowledge, planning, and training, employees can be your strongest assets. Employees need to be fully committed so your cybersecurity policies and strategies can be successfully implemented and protect not only the company but their jobs.
If you’re looking to implement or build your cybersecurity strategies and in need of assistance, experts at Uniserve are here to help. Drop us a message and get the right solutions.