Cyber attacks are more and more common and hackers continue to invent new, innovative techniques leaving companies with a constant fear of being attacked. That’s why they invest a lot of resources to protect their company and their self against possible attacks. Don’t get us wrong, this is a good start, but it’s not everything. For example, have you ever thought about offering your employees an (online) cyber security awareness training? No? Then be sure to read on, we will tell you why you should consider to invest in them!
Employees are your best defense or your weakest link
It may surprise you, but employees are often the cause that hackers can strike. As a matter of fact they leave the door right open to welcome them. This can happen in various ways think about a weak password, an unsecured network connection, unguarded smartphone or laptop,… This does not mean that there are bad intentions involved, but that these individuals are not aware of the potential dangers that these actions may cause.
Go for an understandable IT Security Policy and frequent training
The security of the company and safeguarding the personal and/or business confidential information is everyone’s responsibility. With the help of an IT security policy you can inform everyone about the possible dangers and how to respond to them in a proper way. Because not everyone has a technical background, it is important that you remove the jargon from your communication as much as possible. In addition, it is important that this is a dynamic document and is constantly updated with new trends and developments. Deliver this document to your current team and all new employees.
We probably don’t have to tell you, but it’s naive to think that everyone will read the policy you’ve invested so hard in. So choose to organize an IT security training on a regular basis with some relevant topics at that moment. Moreover, an interactive training is better for remembering things. You can set targets and optionally include an incentive to stimulate employees.
What should certainly be covered in the policy and training courses
Different types of threats
It goes without saying that employees first need to know what to look out for before they can take action. Therefore, start with an overview of the most common cyber attacks such as phishing, spam, ransomware and malware. In addition, provide regular training that focuses on new, innovative attacks. This way everyone stays up-to-date and you keep yourself and your team sharp!
The importance of a secure internet connection
Some of us may have already done it.. connecting to an unsecured Wi-Fi network without knowing that this may be dangerous. Hackers take advantage of people’s need to check their social media, mails, WhatsApp messages,… online and therefore create public, unsecure connections. Their goal is to seduce people to enter their data, sometimes they even imitate the names of legit organizations to appear more reliable. We therefore advise you to encourage your employees to never use an unsecured network unless it’s really an emergency!
How to choose a secure password
All too often people choose a simple password that they can remember and use it for different accounts. In addition, this password is not regularly replaced even though it is crucial to protect yourself against hackers. Give your employees tips on choosing a strong password or strong passphrase and introduce them to password managers.
Safe habits on the internet
Anno 2020 everyone surfs the internet on a daily basis, so it is important to maintain safe surfing behavior. Be cautious when websites ask you to enter your personal information and ensure that all the necessary programs are up to date. Why? Updates often correct or even remove weaknesses from a previous version.
Be cautious, also offline
Besides the internet, it is also important to be on your guard offline in the daily life. Therefore, make sure that you shield the password of your smartphone and bank card. Be also aware that no one is looking over your shoulder. Last but not least, always keep other data carriers such as your identity card and driver’s license in a safe place and immediately go to the police if you notice that you have lost them.
In addition to these common hacking techniques, hackers invent new techniques on a regularly basis. Therefore, keep an eye on trends and organize a periodic update session to discuss these in detail and clarify them by means of concrete examples.