Most companies are aware that cyber security is important, but it doesn’t factor into their primary business model. It’s assumed that the IT or network security staff can simply ‘take care of it’ and somehow ensure that every computer, device, and the online task is secure enough to keep private company data secure from hackers. However, this simply isn’t the case. Good cyber security relies on every single employee with access to the network to maintain security procedures, avoid harmful websites and links, and never accidentally share company data through an insecure channel. This means that while your IT team can create the infrastructure for good security and perform recovery procedures in the event of a breach, integrating cyber security practices into your company culture is the best way to keep company and client data safe. While there are dozens of ways to help your employees maintain security, here are four great methods to start with:
Email and Download Policies
No matter how secure your company network and firewall system are, employees with access can still open up the entire shared network to hackers and harmful malware simply by opening the wrong email, visiting a malicious website, or downloading an unauthorized file. No doubt employees are encouraged to maintain physical security by keeping doors closed behind them, not obstructing security cameras, and maintaining good schedule and equipment logging procedures. It’s just as important that they keep the cyber security doors closed as well. Onboard training and regular security newsletters can help everyone remember to keep their email and download habits on the safe side.
Learning Password Security
It’s admittedly quite difficult for most people to build, remember, and regularly update a truly secure password, but it’s still important that employees do so anyway. In order to help your staff keep their passwords high quality, difficult to hack, and changing frequently enough to satisfy the security standards of your IT team, consider having a ‘password day’ about every six months in which all employees are encouraged to change their passwords based on good security criteria. We suggest making the passwords somehow funny, as humor is a great memory aid.
Recognizing Phishing and Whaling
One of the primary ways hackers can gain access to a company system is by pretending to be an employee or known business contact. They do this through email spoofing, using the name, information, and a very similar domain name as the individual they are impersonating. This is known as phishing and using this technique, they can trick employees into downloading harmful virus-bearing files thinking they are from a trusted source. Whaling, on the other hand, is when a hacker impersonates an executive in your company, and this method is often used to gain access, confidential information, or even financial transfers from employees trying to be helpful to their boss’s boss. You can dodge these tactics by training employees to always double-check a source to ensure the name, data, and domain name match who they think they’re talking to.
Practicing with Security Drills
A fantastic way to not only teach your employees the right methods but also train them to respond correctly and reward vigilance is to run the department and company-wide security drills. Challenge your IT team to the entertaining task of pretending to be hackers and let your staff know that they should be on the lookout for suspicious emails and activities, but not when the drills will be, and give them an avenue for reporting suspected hacking attempts. Every time someone catches one of the tests, reward them and make them a good example for the rest of the company as encouragement to keep everyone on their toes.
Cyber security for your business is no joke, but you can make maintaining that security fun and effective for your entire staff by including them in training, security events, and hacker drills. No one will thank you more than the IT team who gets to play the hacker and deal with fewer breaches as everyone pitches in to secure the company networks. Here at Apollo Consulting, we want your company to be absolutely secure. For more useful tips for maintaining your company’s cyber security, contact us today!