Cyber security threats remain a pervasive issue for most organizations across the board – especially now more than ever. As a large majority of us transitioned from working in an office to the comfort of our own home, there’s one question we hope all employers have asked themselves: do my employees know how to recognize a security threat? If the answer is no, then you’ve come to the right place. If the answer was yes, then we highly urge you to continue reading as the world of cyber security is far more complicated than one might think. And if you have yet to ask yourself this question, we hope you find this blog post both equally informative and galvanizing.
Why Is Cyber Security Training Important?
Let’s pretend that all employees are still in the office. One might think that due to the utilization of firewalls and security software, their company is safe from cyber-attacks. Although helpful, it’s still not enough. Now let’s further take into consideration the ramifications associated with working from home. At the end of the day, employees, not technology, are the main entry points for scammers. And as much as we all like to believe that we’re invincible, as humans, we’re bound to make mistakes, which is why cyber security training is crucial. By helping employees recognize security threats, how they might present, and what measures to take when a threat identifies itself, you’re significantly lessening your chance of getting phished over.
1. Email Scams
Cybercriminals’ most common method is phishing attacks to gain access and information to an organization’s network. Hackers want to capitalize on the fact that we, as humans, are inherently flawed. They do this by tricking their target via creating a sense of urgency, offering an incentive, using a fake identity, and so on. Phishing awareness is a crucial component of any successful security training program. Take a look at the following common examples of email scams:
- Unsolicited emails
- Unknown/foreign links in email messages
- Unsolicited email attachments
2. Password Security
Passwords, in essence, are a universal authentication system. As human beings, we have a multitude of online accounts that require both a username and a password. Insufficient password security presents a massive threat to job security, which is why it’s essential to know these tips and tricks of reliable password preservation:
- Use a random password generator
- Keep your passwords unique for each online account
- Compose your passwords with a mixture of numbers, letters, and symbols
- Use a password manager that can both generate and store your passwords for each account
- When available, use MFA to reduce the severity of a compromised password
Malware is specific software that hackers use to either cause damage to an organization’s systems or steal critical personal data. Cybercriminals execute this tactic through many different ways: drive-by downloads, malicious email attachments, new and unfamiliar toolbars, phishing emails, etc. Gear your training on malware towards popular delivery methods, potential threats, and its impacts on your organization. Here are some crucial tips to take into consideration:
- Don’t install any unauthorized software
- Keep up to date on your antivirus
- Be wary when it comes to suspicious files on websites and in emails
- If your circumspect of a potential malware infection, contact an IT or security team
4. Social Media
Love it or hate it, social media plays a vital role in today’s society and cyber security exposure. Considering the friendly nature of social media, many people have become far too trusting over time, and trust is what cyber criminals bank on. By distributing malicious links, hackers utilize social networking sites to attack organizations’ systems and put their reputations at risk. To help prevent the loss of valuable data, make sure you inform your employees about the implications of social networking dangers:
- Phishing attacks occur not only via email but social media as well
- They incorporate information published on social media in spearphishing emails
- Cybercriminals tend to impersonate trusted brands to steal data
5. Removable Media
Removable media may present itself as a storage medium that allows users to copy and move data off-site quickly and efficiently. It can take many forms, some of the most popular being: SD Cards, USB Drives, and Smartphones. There are many reasons why you might need to utilize removable media in your work environment. Although both convenient and cost-effective, there are quite a few potential security risks associated with this form of media:
- Data Security
- Copyright Infraction
- Malware Infections
- Hardware Failures/Difficulties
Our Final Thoughts
There is only so much you can do to monitor and educate your employees about cyber security dangers. Incorporating an extensive and interactive training session that’s specifically tailored to your company is the best way to reduce potential future threats. At the end of the day, if you find yourself pondering the safety of your business’s cyber security, our team of IT professionals will address your specific IT needs to tackle these challenges together.