The weakest link in the cybersecurity chain is often your employees. In order to mitigate the risk of a security breach, organizations should prioritize workplace cybersecurity. It’s important that proper training and resources are provided that will help employees arm against shady tactics. Here’s what your organization can do to stand guard against malicious hack attacks:

1. POLICY

Start by explaining your staff why cybersecurity at work is important and the potential risks are. If company data is lost or stolen, it could badly affect everybody involved, as well as severely jeopardize the reputation of the company. Address the acceptable and unacceptable uses in the workplace cybersecurity policy. For instances, some companies are fine with employees who bring USB drives to work. Some workplaces are so stringent they inhibit employees from using their work computers for personal work even during lunch. You should also mention the reporting of such incidents and how such issues will be addressed.

2. REPORTING

A single cybersecurity issue at work may start out small, but can quickly spread through your entire network. Advice employees that stolen USB drives and devices can be en entry point for phishing attacks at work. If it’s not reported in time, it may result into hackers gaining access to confidential data from the company servers. Emphasize on employees reporting suspicious activity as soon as possible so the problem can be cleared up quickly.

3. PASSWORD MANAGEMENT

It is important that employees understand the importance of sending confidential files through a secure file transfer system that uses encryption and only allows the authorized recipient to gain access. This is because attackers are often after confidential data such as customer names, email address, phone numbers, credit card data, and social security numbers.

Encourage employees to use secure passwords – for instance, a combination of upper case and lower case letters and numbers and special characters. Write an effective guideline on how to store passwords and how to share passwords, and how often to update passwords. Additionally, it is advisable to encourage employees to not use the same passwords on all sites.

4. PORTABLE MEDIA

A policy must be drawn out at work which addresses the use of portable devices at work. Often, employees end up connecting breached devices such as mobile phones, USB drives, and laptops which might end up affecting the entire network. Passwords must be set at the network to limit access to portable media. It also important to advise employees to scan these for malware when connecting to the network.

5. AVOIDING PHISHING SCAMS

Inform employees to not click on links from unknown sources (i.e. unsolicited emails) to avoid phishing attacks. Hackers often send legitimate-looking emails with an alarming subject line such as “Problem with your Outlook” to scam people. The body of the message will contain a very convincing test along with a link which will lead to the phishing site. This is one example of a phishing attack but it might even occur in other forms.

It’s best to advise employees to avoid opening unsolicited emails or clicking on any link provided in the email from an unknown sender. Employees should also be encouraged to report to the IT department when such an incident occurs.

6. PATCHES

Advise employees to update anti-malware programs and do full malware scans at least twice a month. While you’re at it, you must also educate employees on how to use anti-malware programs to keep all of their devices clean.

Do you have an on-going cybersecurity problem at your workplace? How do you deal with it? Please leave your feedback in a comment below.

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