Essential Tips for Better Network Security, Part 2
It’s always a good idea to have clear and concise policies in place when it comes to the security of your computer networks. However, if you want to ensure that employees behave appropriately, it’s best to implement mandatory training so that they know exactly what the rules are, how to behave when using company resources, and what consequences they’ll face for breaking rules and putting the company at risk of a breach in the process.
Often, breaches occur not because of inadequate protections, but because of employees visiting dangerous sites, clicking harmful links, or downloading files that contain malware. These actions allow hackers to walk right in the front door, so to speak. By providing every employee with training on how to spot and avoid such issues, you have a much better chance of staving off a breach.
Even with proper antivirus/anti-spyware/anti-malware software in place, you can’t necessarily prevent employees from engaging in dangerous activities like clicking links and downloading harmful files. Often, they don’t even realize what they’re doing.
You should set up a backup system that requires any downloads to be checked by another party (your IT support staff) before they are allowed into the system. This could improve your network security by accounting for potential employee error.
Business email compromise (BEC) scams, also known as phishing emails, continue to cause major losses; more than U.S. $5 billion dollars have been stolen domestically and internationally in the past three years. Approximately 7,700 organizations are hit by a BEC scam every month.
Phishing occurs when a cybercriminal tries to trick an email recipient into opening a malicious attachment or clicking a link to a malware-laden website that could download ransomware. This method has remained popular over the years, which perhaps indicates that the person behind the computer keyboard can be the weak link in a company’s security.
In the case of a drive-by download, a malicious website will attempt to install software on your computer without asking for permission first. This could happen if proper security systems are not in place or if the operating system is outdated.
Unfortunately, none of this education and training will help secure your business unless you create a culture of cybersecurity awareness around the office. So how do you encourage your employees to protect your company’s information?
- Compliance programs: Make changing passwords a regular task, like getting an oil change in your car. Ensure everyone is doing what they need to do to keep their passwords secure.
- Rewards programs: Offer rewards for employees who find ways to improve cybersecurity around the office, such as by reporting phishing emails.
Accountability programs: Encouraging your employees to gently hold one another accountable will help ensure compliance with best practices. You can also try appointing cybersecurity culture advocates to help keep employees trained and motivated.
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