The weakest link in your business’ computer system may not be your firewall, your cloud or your antivirus protection. It might be your employees. Human error is among the biggest factors that contribute to cyberattacks. No matter how much hardware or software you have in place to protect you, one poor judgment call can sabotage it all.
To minimize your risk, educate your employees on cybersecurity best practices. Education and training along with proper systems protections and backups will make your data more secure and reduce the chance a cybercriminal targets your business. The best way to educate your staff is through a third-party IT specialist team like at Thriveon. We believe education is one of the pillars of any cybersecurity program.
Employee Cybersecurity Training
To keep your business safe from crippling attacks, ensure your employees understand and follow these best practices. For each step, there are additional protections that should be put in place by the employer.
Use Secure Passwords and Two-Step Authentication
Passwords should be at least 19 characters these days and include upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. A hacker can crack a six-character password in seconds and an eight-character password in eight hours. An 18-character password might take trillions of years to crack.
Ensure your employees don’t use the same password across multiple applications or store their passwords on their browsers. Make it your company policy to change passwords frequently. Beyond passwords, you should also use some form of two-step authentication to prevent further breaches.
As an employer, you can install a password protection application on all work devices to make sure all of your passwords have the same protection and level of management. These applications are well-protected data banks that keep passwords secure for everyone.
Use a Secure Network
Whether at home, at work or in the neighborhood coffee shop, all employees should perform work using a secure internet connection. Never use public wi-fi or public devices like those at a library. Hackers can easily set up fake network logins that appear to be authentic.
Make sure your company uses a secure network and that your data gets encrypted before it is sent.
Employees should regularly protect and back up their work. Ransomware and bot attacks can wipe out or destroy data. A system crash could be catastrophic.
Put practices in place to back up all important data and include measures in your recovery plan if you are hacked. Keep backups separate from everyday operations or consider cloud-based options so hackers can’t access them.
Know How to Identify Email or Phishing Scams
Hackers can take elaborate steps to appear like a manager, reliable organization or government office. They will try to trick anyone susceptible into sharing sensitive information with them. Before any employee responds to a request for money, personal data or company info, they should verify that the request is legitimate.
It only takes one click on a suspicious link or response to a questionable email to make your business vulnerable. Regular education and training can keep your employees on top of the latest attacks and what to look out for.
As an employer, you can install email protection software in everyone’s browser. You can also limit employee access to data they don’t need to reduce the number of access points cybercriminals can exploit.
Communicate with Your IT Department
If you've faced a potential cyber threat, it’s essential to report it to the proper department so that everyone can be aware of the risk. Have standard reporting protocols in place that all employees understand and follow.
Other Cybersecurity Steps Employers Can Take
In addition to providing employee cybersecurity training, give your staff the best tools to protect your business from potential attacks. These initiatives include:
- A strong firewall on every device
- Network encryption
- Cyber insurance
- Antivirus and malware protection
- Regular software updates
- Back up systems
- Continued training
- Professional IT support
Prioritize Employee Data Security
Thriveon provides IT support with a holistic approach that includes education and employee training for cybersecurity. We work hard to stay on top of threats 24/7 so your employees don’t have to. With a basic foundation of best practices, we can help minimize your risk for cyberattack at all vulnerabilities. Schedule a consultation today and learn more about how to protect your employees and your assets.