Cyberattacks are undeniably rampant nowadays. From phishing to malware, and a lot more ways, cyber criminals seem to be effortlessly breaking into our data. For any companies regardless of its size, cyber-attacks continuously impose a great threat to businesses all over the world.
With the eagerness to stay protected, organizations tend to set up all the necessary and even the most advanced technologies to get their company data protected. But some of them seem to forget a minor but integral part to stay ahead of the cyber security game – employee’s cyber security awareness.
Many employees fall back on easy but insecure practices so DCT laid out these basic steps to get your employees to be an equipped first line of defense:
1. Make sure your employees have a strong password.
This might just seem to be a minor matter but should not be taken lightly by the employer. More than half of all data breaches are caused by weak password. Always ask your employees to use strong passwords or better yet, try to use password manager and policy to ensure better security.
2. Require your employees to change their passwords regularly.
To use a motoring analogy, having the same password for a long time and using it among different services leaves your car keys in the ignition while you go shopping! In short, it gives your systems the vulnerability to be attacked.
Imagine what would happen if the user’s password fell into the wrong hands or have been cracked or being guessed by someone. They might be able to mess up your inventory. Your database might be deleted or they might steal customer’s important billing information. So, reset all passwords monthly to ensure all staffs change their passwords on a regular basis.
3. Use two-factor authentication when possible.
Two-factor authentication adds another layer of security that reduces the risk of a password breach. Why need second layer protection? Passwords can be guessed or stolen, it can also get intercepted. Two-factor authentication makes an act of stealing the information twice as difficult. So even when the hackers have intercepted your password, they won’t be able to get access to your account.
4. Make sure backing up your files is properly done regularly.
Ransomware can make your files completely inaccessible. Keeping offsite backups of the important files is the only way to prevent losing access to it. Make sure have a system in place that saves important data.
If the data on your machine is backed up and stored out of reach from hackers, ransomware is little more than nuisance. But, bad guys have started attacking backup files because regular backups are the ultimate defense against ransomware. With Acronis Active Protection, your customers’ files and the backup software itself are protected from unauthorized modification and encryption using a heuristic approach to detect and block suspicious processes, accompanied by white and black lists.
5. Make sure every company device have antivirus and malware software installed.
Most cyber-attacks can be prevented by getting the basics right, like proper and regularly updated security software. Antivirus software is the primary defense system against any online or offline threats.
6. Limit the amount of employees with admin access to only those who absolutely need it.
Actively controlling the use of administrative privileges is one of top priorities that form the basis of cyber security. Systems and network administrators are targets of Advanced Persistent Threats.
Minimizing administrative privileges makes it more difficult for malware to spread, hide, persist, obtain sensitive information and resist efforts to remove it. Give out administrative access sparingly, and be sure employees with admin access are well educated on security issues.
7. Train your employees how to recognize phishing emails.
The most common cyber-crime affecting businesses are phishing emails. Comprising 49% of all attacks. Phishing is an attempt to trick someone, usually via email, making you click tainted links to download malware or send you to fake websites. Make sure your employees to watch out for phishing that may look scarily real. Instruct them not to click on any links or share sensitive information.
Aside from phishing email, spear-phishing attacks are the second most common cyber attack. A spear attack involves the creation of an email address that looks genuine and is in the name of a colleague. Instruct your employees to never give sensitive information to supervisors via email. Always ask them to double-check email requests for sensitive information, even if they come from supervisors.
8. Encrypt databases and customer information.
Without encrypting, your sensitive information will be accessible for hackers in case of an attack. Encryption is important because it allows you to securely protect data that you don’t want anyone else to have access to. Instruct your employees to ensure all sensitive data such as client information and important files is encrypted. Implement an appliance that can encrypt data at some point in the storage network.
Cyber Security Awareness Training
Above all that, one of the best ways to make sure company employees will not make costly errors in regard to information security and not be a gateway to attacks is to institute company-wide security-awareness training initiatives.
No matter how you protect your valuable assets, it will still be useless if your personnel do not know or understand how to maintain confidentiality of information, or how to secure it appropriately. The human factor is a major aspect of protecting your business. Human behavior can make or break a hacker’s attempt at exploiting company information.
Help them recognize the threats and vulnerabilities to their company’s information assets and respond to them appropriately including detailing the countermeasures that can be adopted.
DCT’s Cyber Security Awareness Training can help you stay ahead by letting your employees be knowledgeable in protecting your company from security risks!
There are a lot of ways hackers are breaking into businesses’ important data. But proactively educating your employees to what to do and what nots is a great leap to staying ahead of the game when it comes to cyber security.
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