Chances are, there’s a lot you’re doing to make sure your business is protected against cybersecurity threats. You probably have a wide variety of malware and anti-virus software installed on all company devices, and you probably utilize things like multi-factor authentication to ensure company information, platforms, and employees are safe and secure.
Just because you spend a lot of time with your IT team crafting an effective cybersecurity plan doesn’t mean everyone in the office takes it seriously. Scheduling cybersecurity trainings with all of your employees can help, especially if you cover topics like the ones on this list.
How to Prevent Phishing Attacks
Phishing attacks are arguably the most common cybersecurity threat. They can show up in messages, whether personal or professional, and they are especially common in emails. With endless phishing scams going around, it’s likely to be the way your company experiences a cyberattack.
It’s not enough to tell your workforce to avoid opening, reading, or clicking links in questionable emails. You also have to teach your workers how to recognize a phishing message. Share details they might find in a phishing email like:
- It’s poorly written, full of spelling and grammar errors
- Logos and images don’t look quite right
- An embedded link doesn’t match the URL it’s supposed to lead to
- The email address of the sender doesn’t look right
- The message doesn’t address you by name
Showing actual examples of phishing attacks during your training can help, as well as asking employees to share their experiences dealing with questionable messages and emails.
Talk About Privacy Risks
One of the best ways to get employees to care about cybersecurity is to make sure they know it affects them too. Not only can a hacker gain access to company information, their privacy could also be at risk. Emphasize this point when trying to communicate the importance of keeping information secure.
Get specific about exactly how they can protect their privacy and the privacy of the company. For example, employees can use a password management tool so they are encouraged to choose complex passwords, talk about VPNs, and remind them of easy things, like logging out of an application when it isn’t being used.
Use Work-Issued Tech For Work Only
It’s a good idea for employees to avoid dealing with personal matters on work devices. That includes sending personal emails as well as going on social media. It’s definitely a personal privacy issue, but it can turn into a cybersecurity issue too.
Personal documents stored on professional devices means there’s more documents that could be potentially infected with malware. If you fall for a phishing attack on a personal account, it could provide a way into the company network. Make sure employees know exactly how their personal activities could impact their employer and they will be less likely to conduct personal matters on work tech.
Teach Employees How to Detect an Attack
It’s one thing to try and communicate all the ways employees can help avoid a cybersecurity attack. It’s quite another to educate them on what an attack looks like. Unfortunately, a big banner doesn’t appear on the computer screen saying your information has been compromised!
Teach employees how to detect an attack. They should look for things like:
- The computer seems slower than normal
- More data is being used on a mobile device
- Videos spend a long time buffering
- Web pages take a long time to load
- Programs and apps crash
- Gadgets suddenly restart
- Unexplained online activity, like emails you didn’t send
Even if employees are only experiencing one of the things on this list, they should report it to management.
No Judgement Reporting Policy
Employees can be ashamed if they think their behavior resulted in a cyberattack, which means they might not report it. If they have seen a coworker engaging in questionable behavior, they may not want to seem like a tattle-tell, so they may keep it to themselves.
Encourage your employees to report cybersecurity threats by making it clear that there is a no judgement reporting policy. No punitive action will be taken, and employees will not be notified of who reported others.
Talk About Cyberstalking
One topic that is often overlooked when talking about cybersecurity issues in the workplace is cyberstalking. However, it’s equally as important.
Cyberstalking can occur between employees and complete strangers, but it can also include harassment and cyberbullying in the workplace. A cyberstalker outside the company could hack systems and gain access to sensitive company information in an effort to get closer to the target of their affection. Another employee could send inappropriate emails, and customers could come into the store a little too much and follow up with harmful online behavior.
Have a policy in place to help employees with any cyberstalking issues they experience so they don’t end up affecting the security of your business as well.
Share Company Updates
Many employees end up feeling like management just barks demands at them, especially when it comes to cybersecurity. If you want everyone to take it seriously, you should be transparent and share updates with everyone.
That includes updating employees on new software systems, IT hires, and if any possible security breaches have been detected. You should also include your employees in the decision making process. Ask them for their input when considering new security software platforms and turn to them for ideas on how to solve potential security issues.
Share your wins too! If you were able to patch up an issue or if the team has reached any cybersecurity-related goals, make sure you celebrate it!
Don’t just throw a handbook at your employees and hope they follow cybersecurity protocols. Take the time to schedule meaningful meetings that go over topics like how to identify phishing attacks and how to identify an attack after the fact. Not only will employees know what to do, they will know why it’s important, which means they are more likely to do it on a regular basis.