How to Bolster the First Line of Cyber Security – Your Employees

Since the start of the digital age there have been many changes in different spheres. One of the areas that was greatly affected by the internet and computer revolution is business. Today companies look a lot different than they were in the 20th century.
All organizations today invest a lot in their IT and many of them use various online tools, software and cloud-based solutions to conduct business on a regular basis. Although there are many upsides to this new way of doing business, there are also downsides and potential threats.

The risk of losing data online or leaking information is becoming grater each day and this is why companies need to protect themselves. Still, no matter how much companies invest in security software and other layers of security, the biggest risk still comes from employees and their negligence.

The numbers don’t lie

Even though today everyone uses devices that can be connected to the internet, people still don’t comprehend the importance of being secure. Not only employees, but higher-ups as well. All of the security protocols and firewalls go down the drain when an employee clicks on a shady email link and nothing can protect users from that.

Simply put, people have computer skills today, but they don’t take cyber security seriously and the numbers don’t lie. The 2017 Cyber Resilience Report shows that 57% of the cyber breaches were through social engineering and phishing, both of which can only be prevented by users being more cautions and educated.

This shows that the biggest liability is still the human factor and that companies need to start investing in employee training and education in order to protect their organizations. The problem lies in the fact that most business owners and managers are just looking at the technological aspect and the human factor.

Companies need to take the issue seriously

Creating a culture within a company that understands security and takes it seriously is not something that will happen on its own. It’s essential for businesses to start investing in raising security awareness and training employees to understand potential threats and recognize them.

Regular training each quarter is a must – it needs to start from the top and go all the way down. Cyber security needs to be approached strategically and seriously. Even if the training was successful and everyone has had a positive score, it is essential to repeat the training to remind people or update them on potential new threats.

Everyone needs to know how to act safely, understand potential threats and detect them, and respond adequately in case a security incident occurs. Employees need to be educated on how their misbehavior and negligence can have a big impact on the whole business organization and this is how a real secure culture will be created within.

Make security training mandatory

Everyone needs to be involved in training programs and tested to see whether or not they are effective. If someone fails a test, he or she should get additional training to make sure that their results are satisfactory. It takes only one weak link to jeopardize the whole organization.

Additionally, third party security experts can be used to organize fake attacks in order to test how employees react in realistic situations that can happen to them. Everyone who gets phished or scammed through these fake attacks should repeat the courses until they understand how to act safely.

Not only should employees be taught how to act online, but they should also understand that their physical behavior could also jeopardize digital information. People should be advised not to leave their emails open on their phone or laptops where there are random people who could potentially abuse the situation.

A report shows that almost 20% percent of businesses around the globe have weak passwords, meaning that almost every fifth company is at great risk of being hacked with the oldest trick in the book. Hackers have developed various sophisticated tools that have the power to guess generic passwords and gain access to various business information.

This is where employees need to be taught how to create complex passwords, reinforce them with two factor authentication tools and use different passwords for different accounts.

With more and more companies doing business online and since everyone now has an internet connection in the office, more and more hackers are looking to target organizations that have weak security measures. Buying the latest security software is easy, but educating employees takes time and this is why everyone needs to understand the strategic importance of cyber security.