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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Oneonta Businesses Need to Train Staff on Cybersecurity Best Practices

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As much as your employees are some of your greatest assets, they also have the potential to be some of the biggest security risks that your business can encounter. To help mitigate these risks, you need to make sure your employees are trained to recognize threats and respond appropriately.

How Your Employees Can Be Your Biggest Threat

Did you know that over 90 percent of successful data breach attempts and hacks are the result of phishing scams? A surveyed 44 percent of successful breaches between 2012 and 2017 were caused by negligence, or the attacker co-opting an employee to unwittingly enable the attack.

Insider threats count, too. Despite typically being associated with malicious insiders, this association only addresses one categorization of insider threats. The other refers to accidental insider threats, where an employee could accidentally delete a critical file or fall for a scam, with no ill intent motivating them to act that way.

While there is the chance that you may just have a bad egg in the bunch, it is just as likely (if not more so) that an attacker could simply manipulate your staff into assisting them. This makes it incredibly important that your employees are trained to spot these attempts, and understand the proper procedures for dealing with them.

How to Prevent Employees from Encouraging Security Issues

As your business’ cybersecurity should be a priority for everyone who works there, at any stage of employment, you need to cultivate a culture of awareness and best practices. This process can be effectively broken up into four distinct activities:

Communicate

If you want your staff to be vigilant against cyberthreats, you will need to be clear as to why… and how. One effective way of doing so is to include every member of your business from the beginning, uniting them as a team. This will help to make your employees more collaborative where their security concerns are involved. Making sure that your team is also aware of security basics, like how to identify unsafe websites and potential social engineering or phishing attempts, is another key step to securing your business.

Training

Of course, awareness of these basics will only keep you so secure. Your next step should be to condition your staff to enacting these basics - training them so these activities become second nature. Some employees may even need specialized training, due to their particular responsibilities. This training should include some practical exercises, like simulated attacks and tests that allow you to evaluate your team’s preparedness in a controlled environment.  Awareness of cybersecurity needs to be present at all levels of your organization, from your executive level members to a new employee’s onboarding process.

Enforcement

Once your employees have been made aware of improved security practices, you need to make sure that they are putting them into action. Old habits can be hard to break, but your company’s security (and possibly, its survival) is on the line. Of course, you should also recognize when an employee sets a good example, commending them on a job well done.

You should also hedge your bets and supplement your employees’ efforts with solutions that will help reinforce your security. Antivirus, antimalware, encryption, and data backups are all highly recommended means of preserving your data against various threats

Normalization

Finally, you need to make sure that all of this training converts into a habitual adherence to security best practices within your organization. Security hygiene should no longer be a consideration for your employees - their behaviors should be automatic. Granted, reaching this point will take quite a bit of effort and repeated teachable moments - but it will be worth the increased resistance to threats that your business will be able to enjoy.

Directive can help! Not only can we provide the solutions you need to secure your business, we can help educate your users so they will more securely leverage these solutions. For more information, reach out to us at 607.433.2200, and make sure to print out our handy guides to keep password best practices and email security in your team’s minds!