Published on November 19th, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi0
7 Tips for Making Your Employees More Security Savvy
While your IT department may be primarily responsible for developing and implementing your security plan, your employees also play a large role in successfully executing that plan. These seven tips can help you boost your employees’ level of security savvy.
1. Train Your Employees
Employees who do not understand why your security policy is important and how they play a role in protecting your company from attackers are the most vulnerable to attacks. Many of the schemes used by cybercriminals specifically target employees who lack the knowledge to recognize common security threats. For this reason, is important to provide your employees with regular, high-quality training. Your training program should include tips on spotting common security threats, such as phishing scams, and explanations of company security policies. Employees need to understand not only what to do, but why to do it. Do not forget to address vulnerabilities, such as public cloud access.
2. Teach Employees How To Be Safe Away From the Office
With many employees working remotely or carrying around smartphones that provide access to company resources, employees need to know how to protect your data when they are not on your premises. Employees should be provided with antivirus software and instructed about procedures to maintain the security of personal devices, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones.
3. Develop an Effective Password Policy
Your password policy should require employees to choose strong passwords. Strong passwords should include a combination of upper and lower case letters, special characters and numbers. Advise employees to avoid choosing commonly used words, personal information or anything that might be easily guessed. It is a good idea to require regular password changes, but avoid requiring changes too frequently. If employees have difficulty remembering their passwords they may resort to choosing less secure passwords or writing their passwords down.
4. Stay on Top of Phishing Techniques
As many as one in every 99 e-mails your employees receive may be a phishing attack. Phishing attacks attempt to con users into giving criminals passwords, credit information or other sensitive data by sending emails intended to look like they are from legitimate sources, such as a bank. The emails sometimes come with links to fake login pages, or request users to provide the sender with account numbers or other information. In addition to phishing emails, SMS phishing scams are becoming increasingly common. Make sure your employees know that legitimate companies never request sensitive information in this manner and they should report these types of emails and text messages promptly and avoid clicking on any links.
5. Avoid the Use of Unauthorized Software
You should not allow employees to use any software or apps that have not been approved by the IT department. Unapproved software may contain security vulnerabilities, malware, spyware or viruses. It is a good idea not to provide any physical access to machines that would allow employees to install their own software. You should also have software solutions and permissions in place to detect and prevent any unauthorized installation attempts.
6. Provide Your Employees With Some Backup
Even security-savvy employees may sometimes make mistakes. You can protect yourself by providing technology solutions that warn users when they try to navigate to an unsecured site, protect your systems against viruses and malware and help employees recognize phishing schemes.
7. Test Your Employees’ Security Savvy
A penetration test performed by a cybersecurity specialist can help you test how well employees are adhering to your security protocols. During a pentest, the security firm will simulate common cybersecurity attacks and report how well your employees and systems responded. A pentest can reveal weaknesses in your security plans and areas where your employees require more training. A solid cybersecurity plan is not enough to protect your business from security threats. For your plan to be effective, your entire team needs to onboard. These tips can help you improve your team’s ability to execute your security plan.