Don’t Take It Lightly – Educate Your Employees about Cyber Security

Latest News | 11.01.2016

Whether you are an employee or an employer, cyber security isn't something you can ignore. Your business data is extremely valuable and you must ensure that it doesn't fall into wrong hands. Data breaches have dreadful consequences. They might prevent you from accessing your data. They can also affect your reputation. If confidential data such as your tax information or details of contracts leak online, your reputation will take a severe beating.

It was… just a click!

Clicking on a link in an email without checking its authenticity or downloading an attachment before verifying its source can all prove fatal to your business. Even sending an email without checking who you are actually sending it to can have dangerous repercussions.

Every business needs to ensure that their data is safe and secure. In this day and age when cybercrime has become a huge threat to the security of data, businesses need to take every precaution to ensure that unauthorized people do not have access to their database.

The costs and consequences of data breaches are pretty high. According to a recent research, 90 percent of large businesses have fallen prey to data breaches at least once.

What is particularly worrying is that half of the major data breaches were caused by human errors. When it comes to cyber security, your employees are the weakest links in the chain.

Everybody is busy. We don't have the time or patience to double check before clicking on a link or opening an attachment. We fail to understand the sensitive nature of the data we handle. We access sensitive company information from unsecured devices.

Bigger organizations face bigger threats. If you employ a large number of people, it is not possible to control every one of them. Also, it is not possible to follow them wherever they go. The worrying part is that just one employee can cause a data breach that affects the entire organization.

Informing your employees about cyber security is the first thing to do. Instead of being authoritative, educate your employees about the need to protect company data. Explain all the steps you want them to take to protect the data. They may have questions and you must be willing to answer them. Having a designated person whom they can freely approach is a great idea. Keep in mind that if you build your company culture on trust, it will be secure.

Here is what you need to advise your employees:

Double check before sending sensitive information

Spear phishing has emerged as a major threat to online security. Cyber criminals posing as the CEO of a company send emails to its employees asking for confidential information. Some major companies fell into this trap recently. Employees sending sensitive information without checking who they are sending it to will lead to data breaches.

Spear phishing is by far the most successful type of phishing and companies need to guard themselves against it.

Ask your employees to double check everything before sending out confidential information. Tell them to ensure that they are sending and receiving data through a secure connection. Encourage them to check whether the website has a URL beginning with ‘https’ before entering sensitive information. The ‘s’ in ‘https’ stands for Secure Socket Layer. It ensures that the information you send or receive is encrypted.

Ask them not to click on unverified links

Legitimate looking links in emails can sometimes lead to malicious websites. Ask your employees not to click on links they receive in emails. This is particularly important if they didn't request them. Also tell them not to download email attachments they didn't request for.