Did you know your employees are your weakest link when it comes to protecting your business from cyber risks?
In fact, a Kapersky Lab report says more than 46% of cyber security incidents are caused by human error. Furthermore, business suffer staggering financial losses when trying to recover from cyber security problems.
So, how can you protect your business? Let's look at five cyber security topics to cover with your employees to reduce risks to your company.
Topic #1: Email safety
While emails may look legit, many times they aren't. For example, your employee may get an email telling them they need to update their online data.
It may look like it comes from a real company. But anytime they get an email like this, they should click on the from address. Oftentimes they'll find it's not from the company at all.
Cyber criminals use email as the primary line of attack. They get unsuspecting team members to click through one of their phishing emails, and your problems begin.
Educate your employees on how to tell the difference between harmful emails and legitimate ones.
Topic #2: Password safety
The majority of people use the same password multiple times over multiple websites.
So, you can bet most of your employees don't take enough care with their passwords. They may even share them with others.
Train your team on how to choose the best passwords and store them safely for future use.
Consider offering password managers for your employees' devices. These apps help them store strong passwords and use different ones for each account.
Topic #3: Remote workstations
If you offer a flexible work arrangement for your employees, they are probably working from their company laptop in various locations around time. This is also true of traveling employees.
While there are great benefits to this, you have no control over the data and how the devices are being used.
If your team members are using Wi-Fi, tell them never to use public Wi-Fi. Make sure that all of your company devices and laptops are secured with a VPN (virtual private network). A VPN will give your employees a secure connection, and this safeguard your data stored on the laptop.
Set policies for your business with regard to offsite internet usage and train your team with the proper safety protocols.
Topic #4: Desk areas
You may have seen one of your team member's desks littered with sticky notes full of passwords. This means anyone from other team members, to visitors, to the cleaning crew has full access simply because your team member had a "dirty" desk area.
Instruct your employees to only leave out papers that they are currently working on. Tell them all sensitive and confidential data should be locked away at the end of the workday.
Finally, train them to never leave passwords lying about.
Topic #5: Removable media
USB drives, CDs, SD cards, smartphones, and even music players can cause your company problems.
These are all removable media that can be moved from one device to another.
Train your staff about the risks inherent in these devices. Teach them how to protect their data on these devices as well as how to store them safely so they don't get stolen.
Employee negligence is the primary cause of data breaches. This is even more than other forms of cyber-attacks such as company-wide hacks.
Data breaches are costly for any business, but especially so for small companies. In addition, they can affect your brand reputation if your company stores customer data.
The best thing you can do to avoid these issues is to train your employees well. You want to provide this training during your onboarding process and on an ongoing basis to refresh their memories.
Your cyber protection starts with your staff. They are your best line of defense, and they can hold the line if you train them properly.
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