With the recent cyber security breaches many businesses are asking about cyber-security and what they can. While there are many operational and systematic IT things you can do, it is import to understand that people are your biggest risk. No firewall or anti-virus / anti-spam solution is 100%. Your people are opening emails, on websites, using social media, taking calls and receiving text messages. All a way to access you information of systems.
Great people are enthusiastic and energetic. They are focussed on getting stuff done. These very traits also means people can be the biggest cyber security risk. Hackers and cyber criminals use this focus through social engineering. Cyber attackers try to exploit their ‘busy-ness’, trust to manipulate them into divulging sensitive information or granting access to systems.
Busy people can inadvertently expose an organization to cyber threats by clicking on malicious links, opening infected email attachments, or using weak passwords. In the effort to get the job done it is easy to forget to follow security protocols or recognise suspicious activity.
Employee education and constant communication is important for cyber security. It helps to ensure that all employees are aware of the potential threats and risks they may face and keep it top of mind. It also helps them to know the steps they can take to protect themselves and the organization.
You want your best people, leaders and influencers in your business to be leading by example. Educating employees about cyber security helps them to understand the importance of following security best practices – seeing it in action helps embed those best practices into your culture. You want using strong passwords, avoiding suspicious links and attachments, and reporting any suspicious activity to be a natural day to day activity not a distraction. This consistency of action can help to reduce the risk of a security incident, such as a data breach or malware infection.
Additionally, educating employees about cyber security can help to create a culture of security within the organization. When all employees are aware of the risks and the importance of security, they are more likely to prioritize it and follow the necessary protocols.
Here are my tips for
- Recruitment and onboard – make your expectation clear at the start.
- Educate your employees about cyber threats: Make sure your employees are aware of common cyber threats such as phishing scams, malware, and ransomware.
- Train your employees on how to identify and avoid these threats: Provide your employees with training on how to identify and avoid these threats.
- Implement strong passwords: Encourage your employees to use strong, unique passwords for all of their accounts and to regularly update their passwords. A password manager is a solution to provide super complex passwords that can be contained within the business ‘vault’.
- Enable two-factor or multi factor authentication: This adds an extra layer of security to accounts by requiring a second form of authentication in addition to a password.
TIP: This is becoming mandatory in most cyber-insurance policies.
- Keep software and devices up to date: Make sure that all software and devices are kept up to date with the latest security patches and updates. I
- Implement a secure network: Use a firewall and take advantage of Microsoft’s security measures to protect your network from unauthorized access.
- Back up important data: Regularly back up important data to prevent data loss in the event of a cyber-attack.
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