How to educate your employees about staying secure online

One of the most overlooked enablers of a hack is found within the human element of a company. Most often, people tend to blame the network and its technology for not stopping threats, but they ignore the human aspect of the problem. These errors arise when the employees and administrators of a company are unaware of how important it is to become educated about the impact that their actions can have on the network health and security of their company. 

There are countless stories about administrators and employees being too trusting online while at work. For example, an office assistant receives an email from the company’s internal tech support department. Without noticing that the email address representing the department has been altered (johnsmith@techsupport.com reads johnsmith@techsupp0rt.com), the assistant willingly supplies their computer login password to the emailer in hopes that the “technician” can fix a browser problem that they are having. What the assistant does not know is that they have handed over valuable company information to a cybercriminal sitting at a computer half way around the world. 

To avoid cybersecurity threats that can cause major issues for the company such as this, follow these three helpful tips on how to educate both your employees and administrators about smart navigation online.

1. Implement a security awareness program:  

Get your company together to go over internet best practices is a very effective way to educate them about potential threats. Every person in the company should attend this program. This program should include case studies discussing corporate hacks that involved employees, steps to follow when dealing with suspicious software and emails, the importance of not communicating passwords or entrance codes over the web, and other security information specific to your company.

2. Be clear with employee technology permissions:

To prevent unauthorized employees to perform specific tasks within company technology on the network, make sure that you create authorization rules and stick to them. These authorized figures must also adhere to all network rules and be thoroughly trained in company network practices. 

3. Train employees on email threats:

Most employees are unaware of the major security risks involved with email communications, even though employee errors are one of the main causes of data breach incidents in cyberattacks. Email threats can include phishing, SPAM and malware. Make sure that you’re actively communicating best practices with your employees and discussing the importance of email security. Let your employees know what these type of email threats look like and the harm it can have on the company. Teaching employees simple best practices can make a big impact on security, such as not opening files or clicking on links from people you don’t know, hover over a link to ensure you are going to the URL you expect, verify the email “call to action” and be sure to encrypt sensitive data.

Additionally, while education is a key component to your businesses network security, the other piece of the puzzle is technology. If you don’t have the right technology in place, hackers will still get through even after all your employees are educated. If you’re looking to invest in technology that will prevent email hacks from occurring, make sure that the technology solution has these three features.

Email Encryption – Email encryption protects the content of an email from being ready by entities other than the intended recipient(s). Hundreds and even thousands of emails are sent out daily, and a lot of times they contain sensitive information that you don’t want to get in the hands of others. When this feature is applied to secure emails, it allows for safe delivery of confidential and regulated emails. 

Content Inspection – Content inspection involves examining data patterns that are indicative of sensitive data, such as credit card and social security numbers, and looks for keywords that indicate sensitive information. It then captures this information and analyzes it for sensitivity.

Sandboxing – Sandboxing is a software management strategy that isolates applications from critical system resources and other programs. It allows emails, attachments or links to be opened and run in a contained, virtual environment before going to your actual network. This allows a security team a deeper analysis of any kind of suspicious emails or attachments that may not have a signature, so zero-day malware and other hidden threats are alerted. If those attachments do contain malicious content, an alert is then sent to a IT expert to then analyze the attachment for malicious activity, which avoids the chance of the recipient opening the email and infecting the network.

For more advice regarding how to keep your company’s network safe, contact Nuspire today.

 


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