The fundamentals of Cybersecurity can help organizations prevent hacker attacks and can educate employees along the way. Get back to Cybersecurity basics with these six tips.
Every once in awhile, it’s important to take a step back and take a look at the fundamentals, even when it comes to Cybersecurity. The fundamentals might be simple, but those simple steps can often stop an attack from a hacker. And when those fundamentals help organizations not only stop attacks but also educate employees, you are in a win-win situation. So, let’s take a few minutes to revisit the basics of Cybersecurity and what your organization can do to help prevent an attack from a hacker.
1. Talk About Cybersecurity
Discussing Cybersecurity in the workplace should not be taboo. In fact, we encourage you to talk about it often! Talking about Cybersecurity with your employees helps share knowledge with others and provides an opportunity for asking and answering questions. Start the conversation and keep it going.
2. Identify the Basics
There are many tips and tricks to combatting hackers, but some of the basics can cause a hacker to abandon their plan of targeting your organization and move on. When discussing Cybersecurity, be sure to highlight the importance of:
- Strong Passwords: Use upper-and lower-case letters, numbers, symbols, and make them long!
- Lock Screens: Enable the lock screen functionality and require a password to unlock the screen on your devices.
- Download Upgrades & Updates: Make it a habit of downloading the latest security upgrades and updates.
- Be Suspicious of Attachments: If you weren’t expecting the attachment, do not download it.
- When In Doubt, Do Not Click: Instead of clicking on a link in an email, go directly to the website by typing in the website URL.
- Use WiFi With Caution: Information can be stolen over a non-secure WiFi connection, so use caution when not on a secured wired connection with company, banking, and credit card information.
3. Create and Share A Security Policy
Developing a policy around Cybersecurity is an important component. Provide employees with guidelines on how often passwords for company devices should be updated, outline a process for remote access and working on non-secured WiFi, as well as who to contact if an employee notices a phishing email or if malware is accidentally installed. Having this type of resource puts Cybersecurity front and center for employees.
4. Educate, Educate, Educate
Educating employees can go a long way in preventing a cyber-attack. Educate new employees as soon as they join the company about security procedures and policies. Continue to educate all employees about Cybersecurity with regular training sessions, sharing relevant news about Cybersecurity along with recent breaches, educational videos, infographics that show best practices in Cybersecurity, and even simulated phishing emails to assess if employees are paying attention. If you are starting from scratch, this may seem like a lot of effort and that it will take up a lot of employee time. It certainly does take time, but it takes up far less time to educate employees than it does to recover from an attack, which could eat up almost 10 days of downtime, for all of your employees.
5. Cybersecurity Is Personal
When a cyber-attack happens, organizations and individual employees can be impacted. As noted, an attack could cause over a week of downtime, which could cause customers to look for a new organization to partner with. When organizations lose customers, they often need fewer employees on their staff. In addition, hackers aren’t always picky about what information they steal, which means employee personal information is at risk during an attack. Just think of the personal data that your employer has – bank account information for direct depositing payroll, social security numbers for tax purposes, potentially medical information, driver’s license numbers, and personal contact information. Hackers can wreak havoc on employees, as well as organizations, and employees should be made aware of this.
6. Share and Gather Feedback
Share knowledge and information with employees – the good and the bad. If an employee calls out a phishing email to the internal or outsourced IT consulting company, bring attention to that companywide. If a phishing email has impacted your company, share those details as well, along with what is being done to remedy the situation (but don’t call-out a specific employee). This sharing keeps employees in the know and helps with the education process. Similarly, ask for feedback, questions, and concerns. You may uncover valuable information when you ask for it. Just be sure to follow-up on what is received. If an employee asks a question and it is not answered in a timely manner, that employee may be less inclined to support the Cybersecurity policies of the organization.
If these tips seem to be pretty basic to you, you would be right! Often the simplest tip, or trick is what can stop a hacker. So, go on, get back to basics this month with Cybersecurity. You’ll be glad that you did!