Cybersecurity is becoming a critical issue globally, given the heavy Internet usage for businesses. Hackers find it easy to crack into your system and acquire sensitive information. In fact, during the second quarter of 2022, there were approximately 52 million data breaches. This is a significant figure, and cybersecurity awareness training is one of the best ways to prevent and lower instances of data breaches in your organization.
Essentially, you’d want your employees to know what cyber threats are, their possible effects on your company, and what they can do to prevent such attacks. With that, here are five tips for educating your employees to stay safe:
1. Provide clear guidelines
Be specific when training employees and describe the guidelines they must observe to stay safe online. As much as possible, avoid giving them vague clues or instructions on what they should do. Instead, present detailed information to enable them to understand better what you expect of them.
Some technology regulations you can impose include the following:
- Always use strong passwords
Teach your employees the qualities of strong passwords and their benefits. For instance, passwords should be at least eight characters, have a mixture of upper and lowercase letters, and include numbers and special characters. Ideally, the longer and more complex the password, the harder it can be for hackers to crack.
- Never give out login data
Emphasise to your employees the importance of not sharing any login information, even if the message they receive looks like it came from someone within the organisation. Ensure to establish strong protocols for detecting and reporting suspicious messages as well.
- Scan computers for viruses frequently
Train your workers to turn on scanning and automatic updates. This can help ensure they get informed in case a threat is detected.
Whether you have employees working on-site or remotely, creating a secure workspace is essential. Doing so not only helps safeguard your business’s critical data but also allows your employees to perform their tasks in the digital workspace safely and efficiently.
2. Orient employees on the various types of cybersecurity threats
One of the best ways your employees can stay safe online is by knowing the different types of cyber threats. If they’re well-informed, they’ll be in a better position to take the right steps should a cyber-attack happen.
In addition, cybersecurity breaches take any form, and one strategy that hackers use to obtain your passwords, login information, and sensitive organisation data is to target your employees. Therefore, you can prevent your company from being a victim of cyberattacks by educating your staff about the most common threats like:
- Phishing Scams
Phishing is a type of social engineering attack where a hacker sends you an email that appears to be from a person or organisation you know, convincing you to click on the link. This makes it one of the most common forms of cyber threats. According to Forbes, over 90% of cyberattacks infiltrate a company through emails. An FBI report also reveals at least a 400% increase in phishing attacks yearly. For this reason, you’d want your employees to be much more vigilant and report any suspicious emails.
This is a form of malware where attackers obtain access to your devices and then lock and encrypt the stored data. It denies you access to your documents, and you may have to pay the attackers ransom to regain access.
- Password Attack
In this type of threat, an attacker cracks your password by using different programs and password-cracking tools.
With appropriate training and knowledge, your employees can be more aware of and easily recognise attacks that can put your system and critical business data at risk.
3. Highlight The Effects Of Cybersecurity Breaches
Cyberattacks can significantly affect your company, and one of the severe risks is financial losses. In fact, cybersecurity breaches can yield an average loss of USD$ 200,000 for businesses of any size.
Aside from the financial impact, a cybersecurity breach could disrupt your operations. Your system and network could be compromised and experience glitches that can lead to loss of productivity or total failure of all company activities.
Furthermore, it can also damage the reputation of your business. A cyberattack could make you lose the trust of your loyal customers and partners. Clients who previously trusted you with their data may turn away, and trying to persuade them won’t be a walk in the park.
That said, you can minimize such instances when your employees understand the severe effects of breaches. As they become more aware, they can be more vigilant and cautious not to click links from untrusted sources.
4. Educate Employees On How They Can Identify Distrustful Activities
In 2021, the mean number of data breaches and cyberattacks increased by 15.1% from the preceding year. This number keeps on rising as hackers discover more creative and intelligent ways to use to access your system.
For this reason, it’s crucial for your employees to know how to spot any suspicious activities and how to handle them. Let them observe the following signs:
- Unexpected display of new programs and apps on their devices
- Devices slowing down
- Inability to control their keyboards or mouses
- Unusual pop-ups during booting, shutdown, or usual activities.
Motivate all your workers to report any distrustful or suspicious signs straightaway. Even though the threats may not be significant, prompt alerts can help prevent issues that may lead to adverse effects.
5. Include Cybersecurity Awareness In Onboarding
Onboarding is a vital part of growing a company. When you include cybersecurity awareness training during this process, new hires can quickly understand their roles in cybersecurity from day one. Let them know the kind of data that requires protection and how they can do it.
Additionally, you can set cybersecurity expectations for them and the penalties they may face for failing to adhere to the organisation’s cybersecurity policies. According to an Egress report, approximately 74% of businesses have been breached due to internal team members breaking security rules. Thus, it may be good to set penalties for your employees to be keen on security policies.
Aside from the awareness, train your new employees on what they should do when a cyberattack occurs. Doing so introduces your workers to your culture and makes them feel like a part of the larger team. It also shows them you care about their safety, which can encourage them to stay safe from the first day onwards.
Hackers can obtain your company’s sensitive information in various ways. Educating your employees about cybersecurity awareness enables them to get an insight into how they play significant roles in protecting your organisation against malicious attacks. Above are some tips that you can consider when training your employees. You can also maximise tools and software for further protection, especially if you have a remote team to avoid cyberattack risks.