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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.

Protecting Your Users From Self-Inflicted Cybersecurity Threats

Protecting Your Users From Self-Inflicted Cybersecurity Threats

You know the old idiom, “you are your own worst enemy?” 

That can be the case when it comes to cybersecurity, especially in a business environment. In fact, most cybersecurity threats these days happen because of user error, mistakes, or missteps.

There are plenty of scary, aggressive cybersecurity threats out there that can do a lot of damage to an organization, but most modern threats these days target the end user. With modern IT security methods, it’s easier for a cybercriminal to trick or scam their way past an individual than it is to hack into a network. Cybercriminals have also found this equally, if not more lucrative.

In today's digital age, cybersecurity threats are becoming increasingly prevalent and sophisticated. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to protect your users from these threats. This not only ensures the safety of your customers but also protects your business from potential data breaches and financial losses. In this article, we will discuss some effective techniques for protecting your users from themselves, in terms of the cybersecurity threats targeting them.

Employee Training

One of the most important steps in protecting your users from cybersecurity threats is to educate your employees. Many cyberattacks occur due to human error, such as clicking on malicious links or downloading infected files. By providing regular training on cybersecurity best practices, you can help your employees identify and avoid potential threats. This can include topics such as email security, password management, and safe browsing habits.

Everyone in your organization (including C-levels, owners, and the like) need to understand how these attacks can happen and how to identify threats before they get in too far. This covers a lot of ground, from being able to spot a phishing attack to knowing that data in your downloads folder or on your desktop probably isn’t getting backed up.

For instance, we offer a phishing simulation service where we send safe, but sneaky emails to your users and then report back on cases where the trap gets sprung. The system even provides education to that user after they get caught, to help them learn and build better habits.

We have a free flier that you can download and print out and hang up in your office and at every desk that will help people spot potential phishing scams. Get the phishing flier here.

Strong Password Policies

Weak passwords are a common vulnerability that cybercriminals exploit to gain access to sensitive information. As a business owner, it is crucial to implement strong password policies for your employees and customers. This includes requiring complex passwords with a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters, as well as regularly changing passwords. You can also consider implementing multi-factor authentication for an added layer of security.

There are dozens of “tricks” for creating strong, memorizable passwords, from using a series of random words with numbers and symbols, to using the first letter of words in the lyrics of a song. At the end of the day, however, the average person has too many complex passwords to remember, and that leads to people being lazy out of necessity. 

That’s where password managers come into play. For a business, a good password manager gives administrators the ability to share and delegate account access to staff. It saves all of the passwords you need to store, and makes it much easier to rely on randomly generated passwords since you don’t have to write them down or memorize them. We recommend Keeper, and we can help set your business up with Keeper so all of your staff is utilizing it properly.

Email Security

Email is a common target for cyberattacks, as it is often used to distribute malware and phishing scams. To protect your users from these threats, it is important to have strong email security measures in place. This can include using email encryption to protect sensitive information, implementing spam filters to block malicious emails, and regularly updating your email security software.

We briefly touched on this above with staff training, but our phishing simulation service is a low-cost effective tool to help your users learn and understand just how easy it is to get tricked. It will harden your weakest point of security, which is your people.

If you want to set up a discussion about phishing simulation, check out this page.

Cyber Defense Tools

There are a variety of cyber defense tools available that can help protect your users from cybersecurity threats. These can include firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems. It is important to regularly update and maintain these tools to ensure they are providing the best possible protection for your users.

For this, your best bet is to start with a risk assessment.

Regular Backups

In the event of a cyberattack, having regular backups of your data can be a lifesaver. This ensures that even if your systems are compromised, you can still access important information and continue business operations. It is important to regularly back up your data and store it in a secure location, such as a cloud-based service.

Staff training comes into play here—for most of our clients, we don’t have dedicated backup solutions for each individual workstation and laptop. Instead, businesses back up the data on the centralized server. If your data is stored on your desktop, it’s not getting backed up and secured.

Constant Monitoring

Finally, it is crucial to constantly monitor your systems for any potential threats. This can include regularly scanning for malware, monitoring network traffic, and keeping an eye out for any suspicious activity. By staying vigilant, you can catch and address potential threats before they cause any harm to your users or your business.

By implementing these techniques, you can protect your users from themselves and the cybersecurity threats that take advantage of them. Remember to regularly review and update your security measures to stay ahead of evolving threats. Your users will appreciate the effort you put into keeping their information safe, and your business will benefit from a strong reputation for cybersecurity protection.