From Our Partners at SiteLock
Educating Employees on Security Best Practices: Tips for Business Owners
Cyberattacks are on the rise, and no business is immune to this trend. According to recent data, websites are attacked 94 times per day on average. The good news is when acting proactively, your business can ward off cybercriminals. One proactive measure you can take is providing employee security awareness training to help employees protect themselves, and your organization, from security breaches.
Wondering how to educate your employees about cybersecurity best practices? Here are five helpful guidelines to successfully implement employee security awareness training.
5 Key Areas to Cover During Security Awareness Training
When providing security awareness training for your employees, there are some essential topics that you should cover. Here are some of the most important areas your employees need to know about.
Data shows that phishing attacks account for more than 80% of reported security incidents. This is why it’s crucial to educate your employees on how to identify potential phishing emails and what actions to take if they receive a suspicious email. Discuss common warning signs including an incorrect sender address, embedded links and spelling or grammar errors.
In addition to teaching your employees about phishing red flags, consider sending simulated phishing emails so they can learn to recognize them. By sending simulated phishing emails to employees, your business can drastically decrease the number of clicks on suspicious emails, making them a valuable component of employee security education.
During security training, stress the importance of password best practices. Explain that weak passwords can be easily intercepted by cybercriminals. In fact, 70% of small and midsize businesses reported that their employee’s passwords were stolen in the last year.
The best way to prevent company passwords from getting stolen is to teach your employees how to choose strong passwords. Educate them on email security practices and make sure they don’t use names, birthdates or number combinations such as “123” in their passwords. Also, ensure they use a unique password for each of their accounts and use two-factor authentication whenever it’s available.
For extra security, consider using a password manager to generate and store complex passwords. These passwords are much more difficult for hackers to intercept, which can give you more protection against data breaches.
Cybersecurity on the Road
Teach your employees to be careful when traveling or working from outside the office. It’s essential that employees understand they shouldn’t neglect security rules and practices when they’re away from the office because hackers are everywhere.
In particular, employees should be aware of the dangers of public Wi-Fi networks, which are often unsecured and easily accessible to hackers. It’s also possible for hackers to set up a fake network and eavesdrop or steal personal information from an unsuspecting network user.
Instruct employees to either avoid these unsecured Wi-Fi networks altogether or to use a virtual private network (VPN) to help protect their data if they need to connect with an unsecured network. Employees should also use a VPN on their work devices to help secure company data and communications when working remotely.
Securing Laptops and Devices
When training your employees, remind them to take the necessary steps to protect their laptops and other devices. If a company device gets stolen or hacked, bad actors can gain access to sensitive customer information, login credentials such as passwords, or confidential company information.
Employees should use secure passwords when logging into their computers and for their company accounts to reduce the chances that an authorized person will get access to their information. But the single best way to prevent a lost device from becoming a security incident is to ensure employees don’t store sensitive documents or information on company devices in the first place.
Building a Culture of Cybersecurity
For your cybersecurity measures to be effective, it’s essential to establish clearly defined rules and procedures and to make sure everyone follows them. Teach your employees to be aware of their surroundings when they’re at work. For example, if sensitive data is left unattended or a stranger is walking around the office, employees should take note and inform the appropriate person. Establish procedures that make it easy for employees to take action if they see something suspicious, or even to report their concerns anonymously.
Your employees also need to understand that following these rules is essential for guarding your company’s security, and that there are consequences if they ignore them. If employees understand that data breaches could result in loss of revenue, reduced salaries or even layoffs, they may be motivated to take cybersecurity more seriously.
Above all, it’s important to lead by example. Make an effort to talk about security as often as you can, hold regular training sessions and emphasize that your employees play a major role in preventing cyberattacks.
Cybersecurity Best Practices and Security Awareness Training for Businesses
In the current threat landscape, your employees are your business’s first line of defense against cyberattacks. For this reason, businesses of all sizes need to make security awareness training a priority. However, developing a security awareness training program can be challenging.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of developing security awareness training for your business, there are cybersecurity solutions that can help. Leveraging a security awareness training platform provides your employees with the necessary education to help prevent security breaches, phishing attacks, ransomware and other common cyberthreats businesses face today.
With cyberattacks on the rise, it’s essential to provide your employees with the cybersecurity best practices they need to help prevent security breaches. By following these guidelines, your business can successfully implement security awareness training for employees and achieve a more secure culture overall. To learn more about how cybersecurity can help protect your business against costly cyberattacks, contact us today at 1-866-743-4336.