March 2, 2021 Last updated March 2nd, 2021 258 Reads share

10 Simple Ways to Educate Your Employees About Cybersecurity

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Cybersecurity is a prime concern for organizations across the globe. It is also known as information technology security or electronic information security and refers to the practice of safeguarding your organizations’ networks and data from malicious attacks.

A failure to implement the cybersecurity measures properly can lead to a data breach that can adversely affect the reputation of the organization across omnichannel and can also cost hefty files to your organization owing to the stringency in the international data protection laws such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

The average cost of a data breach for a U.S.A company is $7.91 billion, deduces a study by IBM.

The major categories of data breaches are Ransomware, Malware, Phishing, Denial of Service (DoS), and miscellaneous techniques such as social engineering and skimming.

It is perceived that cyberthreats to any business are from outsiders. There could be for example some nefarious programmers writing malicious code designed to pilfer your corporate intelligence, sipping your confidential customer information, and/or raid your financial data.

However, the threats are also likely to originate from within your organization when employees fail to understand the breadth and depth of cybersecurity and become ignorant and/ negligent about the cybersecurity measures opening the door for cybercriminals.

In this blog post, we have included some simple tips to effectively train your employees on cybersecurity to avoid any potential instance of a data breach. Without much tumult, you will be able to create and implement policies assuming that you have been infiltrated. Under such hypothetical scenarios, your employees will be able to comprehend the dos and don’ts of keeping their businesses safe.

Let delve in:

Tip #1 Explain the Importance of Cybersecurity

Employers need to ensure that they regularly talk to their employees about cybersecurity. The employees must be explicitly narrated the potential impact a cyber incident may have on the operations of an organization. The employees should have accurate information on the minutest details such as how to safely use the mobile phones within the office premises.

In a study conducted by B2B International and Kaspersky Lab on external cyber-threats experienced by businesses, 94% of companies had reported some form of external threat. 

Merely reading and signing the company’s IT policies annually wouldn’t help, rather a proper, in-depth understanding of cybersecurity issues is required.

Tip #2 Pay Special Attention to Your Managers 

Your top management staffs are employees too. Moreover, they have access to more crucial data points. The IT department should be extra careful while providing additional access to the top executives.

If cybersecurity at any stage is compromised, the damages can be much bigger, including the financial payoffs.

Tip #3 Talk to Your Employees About the Importance of Cybersecurity

Employers need to explain their workforce the importance of cybersecurity. They need to be explicitly explained that while the best effort is being made to secure the infrastructure of the company, it is only as secure as the weakest link. Therefore, every entity is important and each employee needs to be trained on cybersecurity uncompromisingly.

The employers must:

  1. Encourage co-operation amongst the employees and the only emphasis doesn’t need to be on compliance
  2. The policy should be sophisticated enough to cover all the possible attack vectors
  3. Employers must recognize that their employees are only humans and that they will make mistakes

#Tip 4: Acquaint Your Employees With Different Types of Cyberattacks 

As employers, you should be having regular, focused sessions with employees to explore different types of cyberattacks.

Companies should make it a point to make cybersecurity training an integral part of general onboarding activities.

Learning should be conducted using informal and easy-to-understand language. Training should be made useful by referencing topical news stories and using social media.

#Tip 5: Beware of Social Engineering Activities

Employees should be warned to pay special attention to social engineering activities. Special caution needs to be exercised during the use of social media channels, blogs, and subscription links from unknown sources while at work or using corporate devices.

Remember, even random phone calls can be threats to your cybersecurity.

If you choose to disclose vital information about your organization to people over the phone call, it can be detrimental to the overall health of your organization. A cybercriminal can also exploit your weakness to be social, so be careful what you say and how much you say, especially when talking to a random person.

#Tip 6 Employees should be trained to see the Cyberattacks coming their way

Organizations should have a documented remediation plan in place that should be frequently updated & reviewed & the cybersecurity concerns must be carefully addressed at all the times. Pieces of training should clearly communicate if an unpleasant cyber-incident is witnessed by the employees.

When you are sharing a common network there must be clear rules for handling emails, web browsing, mobile device handling & handling all the social networks.

The most important part of the training though is doing the basics correctly. All the machines should be physically unplugged when required. Any unusual activity should be immediately notified to the system administrator including any suspicious emails, unusual mobile devices & activities on the social network. There should be an IT number available to all the employees to contact at the time of emergency.

#Tip 7 Be a Whistleblower – Raise Those Red Flags

Employees must always be encouraged to speak up if any real issues happen. It’s important to improve your training approach if false alarms happen regularly.

#Tip 8 If a Cyberincident Happens, Give Your Employees a Heads-up As Quick As Possible

The impact of a cybersecurity incident can be significantly increased by the lack of transparency or by the improper handling of the cyberincident.

Proper instructions must be given to the training staff about how to speak to the public & press, provided any such incident happens.

#Tip 9 Regularly Test the Cybersecurity Knowledge of your Employees

Testing the cybersecurity knowledge of your employees must be made mandatory to their digital lives. Whoever is well-acquainted & updated with all the rules must be made eligible for some rewards.

This will encourage other employees to keep themselves well-versed with the latest regulations of cybersecurity.

#Tip 10 Invite People to Participate in Giving Feedbacks & Responding to Them 

The employees must be mandatorily asked to change their passwords every week or at least monthly. Under no circumstances, the employees must be allowed to exchange their passwords. Also, the use of personal email addresses and USB sticks must be prohibited at the workplace.

Wrap Things Up 

As the internet is getting interwoven with the daily routine of employees, organizations & nations, cybersecurity is increasingly becoming a concern for the employees & organizations alike. Although cyberspace offers an endless list of services and opportunities, it is also accompanied by many risks – the cybercrime being the biggest of them all.

The internet has given the cybercriminals a platform to grow & proliferate. Under such circumstances, the companies must be encouraging the development of industry-led cybersecurity standards for private sector companies. Emphasis should be led on expanding the use of cyber specialists to help the police tackle cybercrime. For getting safe online companies should be promoting cybersecurity awareness and education by strengthening the role of the already existing cybersecurity education initiative.

Companies need to adopt a holistic approach to cybersecurity that addresses the following concerns:

  1. Companies need to adopt an integrated approach to cybersecurity.
  2. A cybersecurity culture must be instilled that subscribes to the minimum cybersecurity measures.
  3. The strengthens of legal processes to prevent and address cybercrime, cyber terrorism, and cyber warfare.
  4. A critical information infrastructure must be ensured
  5. Various intentions of the cybersecurity regulations must be checked & updated from time to time & a dynamic information infrastructure should be maintained.
  6. Employers must be accustomed to a comprehensive legal framework to govern cyberspace.

Companies need to be taking definite steps in the direction of cybersecurity both from a policy and a strategy point of view and also in terms of the awareness and education facet of cybersecurity.

Remember any attempt to secure cyberspace starts with awareness and education. Accordingly, companies can establish cybersecurity initiatives to create a commercial environment that is well-aware to protect themselves from all cyber threats. Every company should have a clearly defined plan for instilling cybersecurity knowledge in all sections of society.

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Priya KUMARI

Priya KUMARI

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