Cybersecurity Practices for Employees Beyond 2020

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Each major technology advancement brings with it changes to the way businesses run their operations. Cloud computing and mobile device improvements have revolutionised the productivity and processes of most organisations. 

However major technologies like these also create complexity which means greater opportunity for cyber-criminals to develop innovative methods to hack into systems and steal valuable data. So it’s important that your company prioritises the cybersecurity education needed by your employees.

Password Security Handling

Many people fear using complex passwords because our tendency is to forget them. However, the advent of password management software such as LastPass, 1Password, and Bitwarden now makes complex passwords easy.

Small business cybersecurity training of employees regarding passwords should advise:

  • Using at least 2 -3 random words combined. Ex: Globe, Fire, Shield
  • Combining both uppercase and lowercase letters. Ex: gLobefireShield
  • Adding numbers, special characters and symbols. Ex: gLobefireShield23#$!
  • Setting your password to up to more than 8 characters long.
  • Changing your passwords every 60 days. 

Most importantly of all, your company should prioritise education to make sure employees understand the importance of handling passwords securely. Discussing the consequences of data breaches employees cause and the potential damage done to the business often grabs and holds their attention on this matter. 

Regular Data Backup Schedules

The best cybersecurity training for small businesses includes covering the topic of performing regular data backups. These should be scheduled and automated (so they get done!). Eg; daily backups online with weekly offline and offsite backups. 

A major problem small businesses face is recovering lost, stolen or corrupted data. Enacting a regular scheduled backup routine will avoid the downtime and potential financial losses that arise from this situation.

Hardware Updates

Hardware is critical to the network security success. If your hardware is outdated (firmware not updated) then it’s unlikely to have the capacity to use modern advanced security software. 

This includes items often forgotten about such as cables, wires, old routers, printers, scanners and even RAM.

Updating hardware is not required as often as updating your software however it should not be forgotten altogether. Whilst a computer system can function perfectly well for many years, there will be changes and advances in the latest security of the hardware such that waiting until your computer blows up might not be the best trigger point to upgrade/update.

Software Validation

Software validation is critically important to cybersecurity. A fake program or software application can create a significant security weakness. Employees should be fully trained on how to spot fake software and computer programs. Hackers will use these fake programs to trick employees into providing access to your network and your data. This again highlights the need using professional cybersecurity training services to ensure you and your staff are trained and updated with the latest information.

Software Updates

Software updates are usually set to automatic. It’s important for your computer to search for updates as soon as it connects to the network. Software updates regularly update your programs and applications version, keeping them secure and robust against the latest hacking methods. 

Software is just like the clothes we wear  – over time they get holes and tears from everyday use, and so need patches (updates) to keep them functional.

Enable Data Encryption

To prevent privacy breaches, data encryption should be enabled on all critical data (both data in transit, and at rest). This applies to both laptops/desktop computers and mobile phones. 

Most iPhones have encryption enabled by default, with Android devices needing encryption switched on for many models.

Most cybersecurity training services can show your employees how to enable encryption on their phones, and provide a service for encrypting data on their laptop/desktop (as it’s best done by professionals).

Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) is a practice that protects critical data by adding another layer of security, leaving hackers little chance of logging into your systems and cloud software. 

Even if a malicious intruder had your password, it will still need your second and third validity of authentication such as a security token, your fingerprint, your voice, or your mobile phone.  In addition, MFA also enables you to distinctly determine among users of shared accounts which improves your access control.

Again, enabling this feature on your systems would be covered by a small business cybersecurity training program (often combined with a service that sets up the MFA on your systems, then teaches staff how to use it).

Why Employee Cyber Training?

Most business owners understand the potential loss in sales and customers that can arise from a cyber-attack or data breach. Your employees are the first line of defence in keeping hackers out of your systems. This is why cyber-awareness training is so important. 

So you might ask exactly how do I train my employees on cybersecurity? Whilst in-person classes are available, the best small business cybersecurity training these days provides a self-paced online learning environment with regular testing and benchmarking of employees (all automated). 

These online programs are kept updated with the latest in cyber-awareness education to ensure your staff have the best possible skills to help protect your business.

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