Over the past several years, there has been a significant rise in the number as well as the severity of cyberattacks that have taken place. As businesses increasingly conduct their transactions online, cybercriminals, as well as other malicious actors accordingly, invest their time and resources to compromise business networks and access private data for their nefarious purposes. So far this year, data breaches and cyberattacks have cost businesses an average of $3.92 million; this is a 1.5 percent increase from 2018 and a 12 percent increase from 2014 when the cost of a data breach was approximately $3.5 million.
Given the increased sophistication of cyberattacks and the negative consequences of a data breach such as financial loss, loss of consumer confidence, and possible litigation, among others, it is important that your network is always fully secured. In addition to traditional cybersecurity strategies such as anti-virus, anti-malware, and firewalls, you should also train your employees on how to recognize as well as prevent potential cyberattacks; they also need education about work best practices that minimize their risks of becoming cyberattack victims. Employee training is especially important because research has shown that over 65 percent of successful data breaches were primarily as a result of employee negligence. Discussed below are some tips and strategies that can be used in enhancing cybersecurity awareness in your employees.
1) Password Training
Strong passwords are one of the first lines of defense for any network. Your employees should be taught how to set strong and unique passwords; these should consist of a mix of upper and lower case characters, special characters, and numbers. In addition, they should be encouraged not to use the same password for multiple domains or sites; each application or domain should have a separate password. Furthermore, their passwords should not be left lying around on pieces of paper or shared with other coworkers.
2) Device Management
Your employees should be taught how to properly manage any devices assigned to them. They should keep their devices locked when they are not in use. Mobile devices should not be left laying around carelessly or unattended. Furthermore, your employees should update their devices as soon as possible if an update notification is received to ensure that their devices remain secure.
3) Spam and Phishing Recognition
Spam and phishing emails are the most common strategies used by cybercriminals to penetrate and compromise a network; malicious links are typically embedded in these emails that grant access to a network once they are clicked. Your employees should be educated on how to recognize spam and phishing emails; they should not click on any embedded links in a suspected spam or phishing email.
4) Practice Drills
Conducting regularly scheduled drills is one of the best ways to reinforce best cybersecurity practices in your employees. An example of a practice drill is to send fake emails to all your employees to ascertain if they are familiar with the telltale signs of a phishing email. In addition to reinforcing learning, practice drills also help you identify your employees with weak cybersecurity skills who may benefit from additional training.
5) Issue Reporting
Even though your employees should be able to detect threats to the network, they do not have the skillset to manage and mitigate them; that is the role of your cybersecurity team. Your employees should be familiar with the process of reporting issues to the cybersecurity team. Furthermore, they should be encouraged to report suspected threats as soon as suspected as time is usually of the essence if a cyberattack is underway.
At NewCloud Networks, we specialize in providing cybersecurity and backup solutions to small and medium-sized businesses. Using our Security as a Service solutions, your network will always remain fully protected. Contact us today to find out how to get started with NewCloud Networks