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Cyber Awareness - Security Awareness Tips for Employees

It’s an increasing problem. As cyber security threats become more advanced, general IT literacy rates are declining. Poor employee cyber awareness is a problem, as this can lead to costly data breaches.

You might invest in state-of-the-art network security. However, all a hacker in 2020 needs to do to compromise your business, is have access to a single employee with poor IT security awareness.

Basic Cyber Awareness Tips for Employees

Since coming into force in 2018, GDPR data protection rules in the EU, have resulted in $128 million in fines to businesses. For this reason, it is vital that businesses start improving basic employee cyber security awareness.

To start raising cyber awareness among employees, businesses need to start stressing the importance of strong terminal passwords and access policies.

- Passwords for access to company terminals and IT systems should never be the same as personal passwords employees use at home.

- Ideally, business employees should be mandated to change their passwords regularly.

- Employees should receive training concerning how to create strong passwords containing uppercase letters and numbers.

In every case, raising cyber awareness should also see businesses enact a robust terminal and networked device security policy.

Basic Best Practices For Smart Terminal Security

Information security awareness in the workplace should always start with employee training.

Ideally, training should see employees made aware of how modern hackers often use social engineering to gain access to employee work terminals. However, employees also need to be made aware of how important strong physical security is around work terminals.

Lock Down Terminals by Prohibiting Use of USB Peripherals

Is it normal for employees in your office to use their own USB sticks or even USB phone charging cables when at work? If so, this behavior needs to be prohibited.

Malware and viruses on third-party PC peripherals can undermine the security of your network in a matter of minutes. The second you attach a non-authorized USB stick to a terminal, you essentially render your firewall and company antivirus obsolete.

Of course, most businesses are already familiar with the dangers of connecting unauthorized PC peripherals. However, there are still extra measures that can be taken to increase security further.

- Make sure employees know to always verify the identity of IT personnel conducting maintenance on work terminals.

- Employees should receive training on how to recognize suspicious behavior around terminals on the part of other employees, maintenance crews, and members of the public.

- Simple procedures should be put in place to facilitate quick reporting of suspected device tampering.

Train Employees How to Spot Social Engineering Attack Attempts

Business employees with poor IT security awareness, typically assume that viruses and malware pose the biggest risk to your company. However, the reality couldn’t be more different.

At present, 98% of successful hacks are accomplished through social engineering. This is where a hacker will convince an unsuspecting employee to allow them to bypass existing network security protocols.

- Social engineering hack attempts typically start with a phone call or email.

- In most cases, employees are made to believe that they are communicating with other company employees or business executives.

- Even simple social engineering hacks that result in employees clicking a malicious link or file, can result in catastrophic financial and reputational damage to businesses.

Thankfully, raising cyber awareness among employees can thwart social engineering attack attempts. All you need to do is make your employees aware of the most common attack strategies.

Refresh Employee Information Security Awareness Training on a Regular Basis

Are your employees already cyber security aware? If so, that’s fantastic. However, smart business owners are those who repeat training on a regular basis.

When not employed in an IT capacity, it can be easy for employees to overlook basic best practices like verifying the identity of terminal maintenance teams. For this reason, cyber awareness training should be refreshed every three to six months. This way, your employees will remain security vigilant for longer.

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