Cyber threats are a very real and rampant problem that companies need to face head-on if they hope to avoid these types of potentially devastating issues. The HR department, the IT team, and managers, as well as employees, all need to work with one another to ensure that the business is as secure as possible. You wouldn’t leave the building and doors unlocked and night, and if you don’t take proper precautions with cyber security, you are essentially doing just that. Fortunately, there are some simple tips that you can use in your company to help improve your level of security.
Make the Employees Aware of the Dangers
There are many people who are not fully aware of the dangers that cyber threats pose. They may not know all of the various ways that they could inadvertently cause harm to themselves or the company they work for. Often, people believe that their company already has plenty of security and that they don’t need to worry about emails or visiting various websites because they must have some sort of protection. It’s very important to make sure that everyone understands how dangerous the threats can be, as well as how to spot those threats. This leads us to the next tip on the list.
Provide Cyber Security Training to New Employees
All of your new employees should go through proper cyber security training when they are brought into the company. There are courses that you can provide via software, which can be very helpful. These should be provided to the employee on the first day and before they begin work. You will want to go over all of your company policies regarding cyber security, as well, and you may want to have someone from the IT department who can provide supplemental training when they are being set up with their devices.
Consider Who Has Access
One of the mistakes that many companies make when it comes to their cyber security is not partitioning off access to different parts of their network and data. Not all of the employees will need to have access to everything. You need to incorporate different levels of clearance so that employees only have access to the elements that pertain directly to their jobs. Managers would have more access naturally, but that doesn’t mean that the manager of the QA department should have access to the same data that the HR team has. Create a hierarchy and allow people access only to the areas that they need.
Make It Easy to Report Problems
When someone finds a potential issue or has a question regarding cyber security, it should be easy for them to report the issue. If they receive a strange email, for example, it should be easy for them to alert the IT security team or forward the email to them. Consider seeing if IT can add a simple one-button click that will forward those types of emails. It can reduce the risk of someone opening the email, which could contain malware.
In addition to making it easy to report the problems, you will also want to reward those employees who do this. It will help to reinforce good habits and will encourage other employees to do the same.
Require Strong Passwords
Most companies today know the value of ensuring that their network is password protected. However, they may not have any rules regarding the strength of those passwords. The IT department should be able to create a certain set of parameters that will need to be met during the creation of the passwords. This can help to ensure that your employees are using strong passwords that will be more difficult to crack.
You should also make sure that you require the passwords to be changed regularly. Changing them once every month can help to provide some added security. Do not just expect that your employees will remember to do this on their own. Have it built into the system that you use, so there is a countdown where everyone will have to change their passwords on the same day.
Keep the System and Employees Updated
The IT department will be responsible for making sure that all of the proper safety protocols are in place in regard to firewalls, virus and malware software, and the like. It is important for them to ensure that these lines of defense are kept up to date on all of the computers and other devices in the company. However, if there are any changes that will affect the way the employees do their work, they need to be told about those changes as soon as possible. Letting people know before the changes are implemented is the best option.
Learn from Mistakes
Proper cyber security training will help to reduce the risk of your company becoming a victim. However, that’s not to say that mistakes won’t happen on occasion. It is important to look at these as learning experiences, so you can improve your cyber security going forward. Some additional tips to improve cyber security in your organization.
It is a good idea to get into the habit of having audits for your cyber security, as well. These audits can help HR and IT to find areas of weakness or areas where the employees are not complying. The audits can help to eliminate issues before they become an actual problem like a breach or an attack.
Only providing cyber security training when employees are first brought into the company is not enough. You need to continue with this type of training and refreshers for the employees regularly. Make sure the employees are aware of new threats and how to handle them, new safety procedures, etc. Having refresher courses helps to keep cyber security at the top of everyone’s mind.
It does not matter whether you have a large company with hundreds or thousands of employees, or if you have just a handful of employees. Cyber security training is essential for everyone. Make sure that you provide the right, safe environment for your company and employees when it comes to dealing with cyberthreats. The better the training the lower the risk will be.