Your business can invest all the funds on the latest cybersecurity technology like firewalls and threat detection tools, but there will always be one security risk that can't be blocked from entering the company networks: your employees.
While hackers and cybercriminals who use malware or other sophisticated techniques are often the first suspects of a data breach, many incidents prove that data breaches are typically caused by employee negligence and human error. In fact, according to Verizon's latest data breach report, 4% of people will click on any given phishing campaign.
This means your employees could inadvertently be working with hackers and cybercriminals to let them inside your network. Proper education and training is key but different staff will require separate training in order to defend against the specific threats in their department.
In order to prevent employee-induced breaches, you and your employees must follow these top 9 security tips:
- Always be wary of email attachments – Emails that contain suspicious subject lines regarding special offers, notices, or news should be verified before opening. Everyone must also be trained to closely scrutinize irregular emails from C-suite executives, especially if the emails are urging recipients to make unauthorized wire transfers.
- Update and secure physical access to information – Keep sensitive information locked in desk drawers, shred paper documents when necessary, and avoid posting notes with passwords on desks and computers.
- Encourage open communication – Make sure your staff knows who to call regarding stolen devices or even verifying business-related activities such as changes in vendor payment location. With clear, open lines of communication, your staff won’t feel intimidated or confused if anything unusual occurs. If they know exactly who to reach out to, the faster the problem can be solved.
- Use unique and strong passwords – Having weak passwords like "123456" is like giving hackers the keys to your accounts. This is why you and your employees must set complex passwords for each of your accounts. What’s just as important as setting a strong password? Actually remembering it! Use a password manager to keep track of all your passwords and enable multi-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security.
- Don't daisy-chain accounts – Linking accounts make it easier for hackers to access other accounts after cracking just one. They could simply work backward to obtain other accounts.
- Back up data regularly – Data is vulnerable to both threats and system failure. Routinely backing everything up minimizes the damage in case data gets compromised.
- Secure all devices – if your company has a bring your own device (BYOD) policy, use anti-theft apps, screen locks, beef up built-in security settings, and install security software.
- Report incidents – Any signs of compromise should be immediately reported to law enforcement or the IC3.
- Bridge the training gap - Commit to training and educating your employees according to your company's best practices. Teach them that adhering to company policies is one thing, but having good security habits is another. This especially applies to businesses with remote workers, third-party vendors, and those in highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance.
By investing in employee learning and development, you provide them with the necessary tools to master the rapidly changing threat landscape that surrounds them. Charles IT offers security awareness training and email and USB threat simulations to keep your employees vigilant. Drop us a line today to learn more and we'll walk you through our solutions.
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