Cyber security is more important now than ever before. By 2025, cybercrime will cost the world an estimated $10.5 trillion per year.
A single cyber attack can be devastating for a business, so you want to take the right measures to ensure you’re fully protected. Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to launch attacks, and understanding the threats that are currently out there will help you keep your business secure.
In this guide, we’ll go over some vital cyber security tips for employees that can help you maintain a high level of security. Keep reading for more.
Utilize Strong Passwords
This is something that may be obvious to a lot of people, but it’s surprising how many neglect it. The stronger a password is, the harder it will be for a malicious party to access an account. Some good practices to follow are:
- Use a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols
- Avoid using words (especially proper nouns)
- Avoid PII (personally identifiable information)
- Make it at least 16 characters long
- Don’t re-use old passwords
A lot of people use simple passwords as they’re easier for them to remember. While this may be convenient, it also offers the highest level of risk.
Use the SLAM Method to Spot Suspicious Emails
For years, hackers have been using phishing emails to initiate cyberattacks, and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. An estimated 88% (or more) of data breaches are the result of human error. Ensuring you’re employees are aware of different threats is a crucial part of preventing cyber attacks.
The SLAM method is ideal for spotting malicious emails. It involves examining the following:
Whenever an employee receives an email they should check all of these details. If there’s anything that’s incorrect, out of place, or just unusual, it could well be a phishing attempt.
Secure Your Web Browser
Almost all companies use web browsers, and these are a common method of entry for cybercriminals. They may be able to access files/data, or even take control of a computer if the browser isn’t secure.
To maintain employee security, ensure automatic updates are on, avoid saving passwords, only use trusted apps and plugins, and limit data transfers/security settings. All of this will make it harder for hackers to breach your network.
Keep Your Devices Up-to-Date
When running a company, you may provide your staff with various devices to work on, or they might even use their own. Hackers are always looking for new exploits, and when they find them, they move fast. Developers also move quickly in response to minimize risks.
The majority of the time, when an update is available for a device, operating system, or application, it will have improved security measures. While it may be tempting to put updates off purely out of convenience, this could make devices more vulnerable. Automatic updates are ideal, but you should encourage your employees to update systems any time they get a notification.
A good way to check your systems for vulnerabilities is through penetration testing. You can do this to see if you meet SOC 2 requirements, for example, which will let you know if your business is as secure as it should be.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a simple (yet effective) security measure that’s very popular in the cyber security industry. It adds an additional layer of security to help verify the person trying to log into a system is genuinely authorized.
A typical example is to have a system send an SMS message containing a code when someone logs in. They’ll only be able to proceed if they have that code.
If a hacker is able to steal account usernames and passwords, they could gain access to a lot of sensitive data. Having a MFA system in place will make it much harder for them to get in.
Use a VPN
Remote work has become incredibly popular in recent years, so it’s likely something your company has implemented to some degree already. If not, you may be open to a remote work approach in the future.
While this offers a lot of benefits, it also presents potential security risks. Your employees may access your network from home or various public locations such as coffee shops or hotels. If they’re not secure, hackers could gain access to sensitive data with ease.
A VPN is a great way to maintain business cyber security. It helps to protect the data between your network and anyone that’s accessing it remotely. Not only will this protect the data on your system, but also the data on whatever devices your employees are using.
Maintain Physical Security
When spending a lot of time thinking about cyber security, it can be easy to forget about some more obvious physical risks. You should encourage employees to lock their computers whenever they leave their desks, for example, to ensure no one else can use them.
Physical access to a device can make it much easier for cybercriminals to steal data or launch cyber attacks. This is also something you need to consider if your company allows remote work.
Be Aware of What Gets Shared Online
A lot of people use social media, but sharing sensitive information on these platforms is becoming a more prevalent issue. Hackers may be able to use data found on social media pages maliciously, so you want to make sure your employees are being careful about what they post.
As discussed above, human error is a major issue in terms of cyber security. Ensure your employees have proper training on all potential threats, and as a part of that, you want to highlight to them the risks that come with social media.
The Importance of Cyber Security Tips for Employees
Your first line of defense when it comes to cyber security is your workforce. If they have a good understanding of the risks that are present and how they can avoid them, your business will be significantly safer.
There are plenty more cyber security tips for employees that can help your organization stay secure. We have various other tech articles available, so check them out to learn more about staying safe online.