Most businesses don’t expect all their employees to be cyber security experts but they should ensure that all members of staff have a basic level of cyber security awareness and understand the role they play in preventing a security breach.
Cyber Attacks Pose an Increasing Threat to Businesses
A recent study by global insurer Hiscox found that small businesses in the UK are targeted with an average of 65,000 attempted cyber attacks daily. The report also found that almost a third of those attempts were successful, equating to 4,500 cyber attacks a day – or a cyber attack on small businesses every 19 seconds.
With no sign to suggest those figures will do anything other than rise over time, it’s clear that cyber attacks pose an ever-increasing threat to businesses. The study also uncovered that 66% of businesses made no changes to their cyber security policies following a breach, highlighting the need for not only better security measures but also the need for better education about their importance.
By educating all employees, from entry-level staff to board members, you can better guard yourself and your business against these threats
Cyber Security is Everyone’s Responsibility
While no business can expect all employees to be cyber security experts, all members of staff should have a basic understanding of cyber security and how to guard against common cyber threats.
This is why cyber security training for all employees is increasingly becoming a common practice for most businesses. Educating employees about common cyber threats and how to spot these is especially important as human error plays a large role in cyber security breaches.
Basic Cyber Security Best Practices All Employees Should Know
As most workplaces now conduct at least part of their activities using digital devices, all employees should be aware of basic cyber security best practices in order to protect themselves, and the company from a potential breach.
1. Digital devices
The most important thing for employees to be aware of is how to look after all digital devices that they carry out company work on, whether that be their personal laptops or desktops in the office. This means educating them about how to correctly back up information along with how to safeguard sensitive documents and good password practices across all accounts.
2. Remote work
Considering the rise of remote workers and businesses allowing staff to work from home a number of days a month, knowing how to do so safely is vital for all members of staff. Issues which could lead to a cyber attack include connecting to unsecured networks and sending unencrypted emails.
All employees should also know how to spot suspicious activity such as the ever-popular phishing emails that users still receive. These fraudulent messages now easily masquerade as legitimate requests for information, making it easy for employees to fall victim to them if they haven’t been properly educated on spotting common red flags that indicate an email is a phishing scam.
The most obvious signs that an email is isn’t legitimate are incorrect email header addresses, simple spelling errors, and requests to urgently share sensitive information.
Reading and following the advice listed above will go a long way toward protecting you and your employees from cyber attacks. Whatever you do, don’t wait until a data threat has become a data emergency before coming up with a plan to protect you and your staff from a breach!