Educating Employees on Cyber Security

CybersecurityWhile technology has become an essential part of work life, it can’t work in a vacuum. In the corporate realms, people still the weakest link in the security chain. According to a study conducted by data security research organization Ponemon Institute, paid for by IMB, the total average cost of a data breach is now $3.8 million, up from $3.5 million in 2013. Nowadays, companies spend a lot of money running employee training programs, and this includes cyber security programs. If cyber-security is seen as a threat in your organization, what will you do differently to prevent it? Using these tips alongside great security technology you can help protect your business from security threats.

Employee cyber security training is essential. Employees are more likely to take accountability of obligations and responsibilities for protecting their organization’s technology assets if they are actively involved in the process. Employers need to educate them of the impending risks and vulnerabilities and tech situational awareness. However, it should be noted that often, people make mistakes, so employers shouldn’t blame when such incidents take place.

Companies shouldn’t absolve executives from their responsibilities towards the issue. Without a doubt, the CEO and the senior VPs are busy with running the organization, however, that is no excuse to give them a go on security awareness training. Truth be told, these people are the prime targets for spear phishing attacks since they have high-level access to people as well as sensitive information.

Make cyber security the core of your corporate culture. When something becomes an inherent part of corporate culture, people become instinctive about it and they truly think about it. Provide regular sessions where you can discuss real-world examples of security incidents, and make it relevant to what people do. Incorporate a strategy when you are onboarding new employees. Reward people when they do something positive using their awareness training.

Train employees on the perils of social engineers. Humans are social creatures. We want people around us to like us, and we want to be helpful to them. We respond to things on LinkedIn and Facebook connection requests giving a very little thought of the new connections real intentions. This kind of innocence can make way for people who have an excessive amount of information that can be used to gain your confidence. Moreover, it’s not just email messages and social networks, but people too. Employees should be aware that they cannot just let a technician fix something. Who knows, he could be installing a wireless access point that will intercept wireless communications in the office?

Tell individuals what they need to do if they suspect a security threat. Acting rapidly can help limit with damage. Give individuals unequivocal guidelines about what to if they experience or witness something suspicious. A special team should document steps to take in different situations. For instance, if you’ve recently opened a connection and have an uneasy feeling about it containing malware, detach the PC from the system to keep malware from spreading. Call technicians to take a look at it, and see if there’s something wrong.

Periodically test individuals. You have to affirm that people really hone the cyber security you give. Call it “pentesting for individuals.” There are basic tools that let you send mimicked phishing messages to workers. Do not just test the cyber part of your security program but also the social engineering angle. Send an “expert” into a work area and check whether anybody doubts his qualifications and approves that he is really expected to be there. Call specialists and check whether they give out a lot of data to the guest. The test outcomes can demonstrate to you where to bulk up your mindfulness preparing.

Be honest and straightforward with employees if a cyber-security incident occurs. Security threats and incidents are going to happen. Some can stay under the radar, however, others may see the light of day—particularly if there are lawful prerequisites to reveal a security rupture. Tell individuals what is going on and what they ought to do/not and say/not say. As a rule, the organization needs to confine who converses with people in general, and every single other representative needs to be encouraged to concede inquiries to company spokespeople.

Listen to employees’ input. Watch and listen to how individuals in the work setting react to the need for security measures. If policies make it difficult employees to carry out their day to day operations, they’ll create workarounds that may be more dangerous. For instance, if you need people to change their passwords at regular intervals, they’ll simply get in the habit of writing down the present password word. A sticky note with a secret word posted close to the PC is a welcome to credential misuse. If is going to be a problem, request access to SharePoint, people will utilize unapproved distributed instead. Let your employees help you outlining security approaches and procedures that will be respected.

Priyansha Mistry
Currently editor at The HR Digest Magazine. She helps HR professionals identify issues with their talent management and employment law. | Priyansha tweets at @PriyanshaMistry

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