Cyber attacks are responsible for tens of billions of dollars worth of damages just in 2019. And, employees are, by a long way, the biggest cybersecurity risk for every business operating today. Since staff members can fall victim to many different security threats, companies can never be secure enough when it comes to safeguarding their sensitive information. Continue reading to find out the best practices for employees and how to implement them to improve employee cybersecurity awareness going into 2020.
Ways to Achieve Employee Cybersecurity
While we tend to think of cybersecurity criminals as some super-sophisticated hackers that can penetrate any security system with little effort, the truth is far more simple and far less glamorous. The biggest reason why most employees fall to cyber attacks is that they are not educated enough on what they should and should not be doing at their workplace. While nowadays every person should possess basic cybersecurity knowledge to get around in today’s world safely, ultimately, it falls on the company itself to educate and protect its staff from any security threats lurking online. The most efficient cybersecurity employee awareness tactics include:
- Cybersecurity quizzes for employees
- Cybersecurity employee questionnaire and security flyers
- Cybersecurity employee education graph charts
These three tips are the most essential and simple ones you should go by every so often, especially if your business experiences a constant influx of new employees in need of cybersecurity education. Of course, if your company also employs remote workers, you need to make sure that you include them in these activities as well and create specially-focused seminars that focus on cybersecurity topics for employees working off-site. With this in mind, you should also remember that remote employees most often face more security challenges than their on-site colleagues.
Biggest Employee Cybersecurity Risks
As we’ve learned so far, the lack of cybersecurity training and knowledge can do a lot of damage to a company. That’s why it’s essential to be aware of all of the security threats out there. Here are the biggest cybersecurity risks your employees must be conscious of at all times:
While most privacy and security-conscious online users are aware of all of the risks involved with using an unsecured network, not all of your employees might have the same level of awareness. To put it simply, unsecured networks don’t encrypt the data that goes through them. It means that anyone with a little skill can access any piece of social media, email, or any other information passed through the network. Accessing any personal and financial data is a risk not worth taking on such a network, regardless if it’s a public, work, or personal one.
Aside from the issue of unsecured networks, the vast majority of security breaches come from phishing emails. Over two-thirds of employees who fall victim to cybersecurity attacks fall to phishing emails. Most often, these types of breaches happen when a company employee clicks on a link within an email that leads him to a fake website controlled by the attacker. Employees are then led to share sensitive personal information that can cost both them and their company an arm and a leg.
Fake Apps and Programs
There are hundreds, even thousands of fake apps being uploaded on the internet every day. While most sites and platforms that feature apps do check every product before featuring it, sometimes it can happen for a malicious program to slip through the cracks. The simplest way to check if an app is harmful is to read through the online reviews and download them only from the official, secure site or a certified source such as the Apple Store or Play Store.
Out of Date Software
System updates mostly go on by themselves, and you don’t need to do anything besides confirm them and let them work in the background. But, a common mistake that many people make is to avoid regular updates or delay update notifications. While regular security update pop-ups can be annoying, they can make a huge difference in overall security. Not only do they help programs work better, but they also often include new features that improve your device’s security capabilities.
How to Maintain Low Cybersecurity Employee Risk
If you’ve implemented all of the security tips we’ve talked about above and educated your employees on all of the potential security risks, you’ve made great strides into ensuring maximum employee cybersecurity awareness. With that said, to maintain high-security standards and ensure that the company accepts a long-term culture of employee cybersecurity education, you also have to establish an effective solution for continued support. It can be done in several ways:
- Regular training and clear communication – Clear communication is the key to every relationship, and its value should never be underestimated. The best way to maintain it with your employees is to put effort into explaining everything they need to know, organizing presentations, and continuous employee cybersecurity education meetings.
- Two-factor Authentication – Two-factor authentication is fast becoming the new standard when it comes to securing sensitive information. By deploying a 2FA or even a multifactor authentication system to every employee, you will be able almost to eliminate the chances of unwanted access.
- Compliance – We’ve delved deep into this topic in several previous blogs. As new privacy laws like the GDPR and CCPA aim to change the online privacy landscape, one of the biggest tasks for businesses trying to become compliant is to improve the work habits and knowledge of their employees.
Cybersecurity education for employees is a necessary thing for every business operating today, and it should be taken very seriously. With these cybersecurity employee education tips, you can get a step closer to accomplishing your goal of achieving a maximum possible level of cybersecurity for employees. For more information about the latest and most important online privacy and security information, subscribe to the Hideez blog.