3 Lessons to Educate Your Employees on Cybersecurity
When it comes to cybersecurity, the best defense is a good offense, and employee education is key to preventing threats before they can even start.
Recent research estimates that an average data breach will cost a small to medium-sized business over $108,000 and enterprise companies have risen to $1.41 million, up from $1.23 million the previous year. It has never been more important to educate employees about the high cost of compromised data.
It begins with communication about the threats that employees are most likely to encounter in their day to day roles and how to ensure that data stays safe and secure. Owners or IT managers should schedule regular all-employee meetings to discuss new risks as they emerge and the security measures that employees can take to ensure that sensitive customer and company information remains fully protected.
Here are several of the most critical policies to define and discuss with employees to minimize the risk of a breach and mitigate the damage if private data is compromised.
1. Internet Usage
A clearly-defined internet usage policy is critical in helping employees understand how the company expects them to manage the use of company equipment and networks. It should be provided internet usage policy in its entirety and published in an accessible location for employees to revisit periodically. Require that each employee read and sign the policy and strictly enforce adherence.
As part of the policy, employees should use the internet responsibly and have no expectations of privacy when it comes to activities conducted on company-owned equipment. Limit personal usage of company networks and equipment to minimize the risk of hackers and viruses that may corrupt company information.
Any information that is transmitted to or from the company’s platform is owned by the company and is subject to review. The company should reserve the right to monitor activity and take action if an employee is using resources in a risky or irresponsible manner.
Block any inappropriate or potentially dangerous websites and downloads and limit the installation of extra programs or applications like messenger applications or games.
Each internet usage policy will differ based on company structure and unique needs. The most critical part of any policy is regular communication and constant revision to ensure that the plan reflects new risks and directs employees appropriately.
2. Email Safety
Email is a valuable business tool, but it also opens companies up to a wide range of security risks. Employees make the mistake of assuming that email is a vault, and as long as they don’t send information to an unintended recipient, it will be safe. Unfortunately, phishing scams and hackers are constantly on the lookout for organizations with cracks in their email safety armor.
To minimize the risk of an email breach, require employees to change passwords frequently (every fiscal quarter), and with stringent password guidelines. Caution them against opening unknown emails or downloading any attachments they aren’t expecting — even if they appear to be from a known sender. Phishers are highly-skilled at disguising emails to look credible.
Install security software on each employee’s computer to scan for threats and address them immediately in the event of a breach. Finally, encourage employees to connect only to secure WiFi networks or through the company network for the highest level of data encryption and protection.
3. Social Media Usage
Social media platforms are one of the most dangerous vehicles for malware and phishing viruses. Employees should limit the usage of social media on company networks and equipment. There is a high risk of inadvertently clicking on a profile that appears innocent but is actually a virus or security threat.
Just as employees should protect their email passwords, they should keep social media passwords private and update them frequently to reduce the risk of any security breach to the company network.
4. Secure Collaboration
While employees must follow clear, comprehensive security policies, it doesn’t mean that open communication and collaboration must be impaired. Tauria has developed a secure and private cloud-based video conferencing platform to equip businesses with the most easy-to-use communication tool, while protecting their most valuable assets.
Tauria offers private video communication for all individuals and entities, which helps to eliminate messaging and emailing in order to minimize the risks of a data leak. It's all backed by military-grade encryption and accessible from smartphones to computers with no downloads needed.
Sign up for a free trial to see how Tauria can accelerate productivity and communication while keeping data safe from cybersecurity threats.