Why Your Employees Need Security Awareness Training

The biggest threat to your business may not be market related. For many companies, internet security issues are their true weak spot. Your data can be hacked or inadvertently shared through poor email security, lax file transfers and other careless internet behavior. You can put various security features in place to help protect your company’s data, but you also need to focus on employee training. Well-trained staff members help keep your data secure, which saves you money and keeps your company’s reputation from being tarnished.

Email Security

Hackers can still get into employee email accounts, sometimes quite easily. In fact, even high-ranking government officials have had their email compromised in recent years. To keep data safe, your employees need to embrace best practices, including developing complex passwords that cannot be easily guessed or “brute forced” by a hacker. Too many employees still rely on obvious passwords out of convenience. You need to require passwords that are long and contain upper case letters, numbers and symbols. Your IT team should have specific recommendations for password construction.

Many people still fall prey to phishing expeditions, attempts by hackers to gather sensitive security information. You need to train your employees to never give out their login information over the internet, including as a response through email. A hacker can easily send an email posing as a member of IT and ask for an employee’s password. They may even ask for bank financial information and access to important files. You may need to send a test email or two to see if your employees are vulnerable to this method.

File Transfers

Employees also cause problems by downloading virus-infected files or sharing files by attaching them to email. Using a cloud service can eliminate this problem since most of these services encrypt the data as it travels to and from the cloud. Using Dropbox or a similar service greatly enhances your file security. Of course, these platforms also require passwords, and a weak one can compromise all the other security measures. You need to take an integrated approach to cybersecurity.

Data Breach Signs

You and your employees need to know the signs of a data breach. Even huge corporations such as Yahoo and Home Depot have been the victims of sophisticated hacking attacks, leading to the theft of sensitive consumer and corporate information.

Experts urge you to take note of the following signs of a possible breach:

  • Program Problems – Your software will occasionally have glitches, but if a program begins behaving in an unusual way, check to see if other programs are also showing irregularities. Your data might be under attack.
  • Suspicious Files – If you or your employees receive and/or open a suspicious file, you need to have your IT security team check it out. Malware is still an effective way to gain control of your data.
  • Communication Patterns – Have your IT team look for odd communication patterns on your network. If a large amount of data is being sent outside the network, you may have been hacked.

If you do not have a quality IT team in place, you need to hire one immediately. The cost of just one data breach can be huge, costing you big money and possibly your business reputation. The price of hiring an IT company to manage your system is usually much less than what a data breach would cost you. You need a dedicated team working to stay on top of all issues, big and small, as they occur. That way, you can avoid the fall-out from a major system hack.

For more information on how our IT Services can keep your business secure and mitigate risks, contact us.