October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month which means now is the perfect time to do an examination of your company’s cyber health starting with one of the most overlooked threats to your security – Employee Error.
Did you know that no matter how much you spend on state-of-the-art software to protect your network from potential attacks, there is still one factor that can be putting your company at risk daily?
Human Error. Specifically, that of your employees.
As you read this, there are thousands of highly dangerous and sophisticated cyber-attacks being sent out with the goal of attacking targets such as your company.
We like to think that our data is safe when tucked away in a company network and protected by a firewall. We believe that there is little damage to be done when our computers are regularly managed and updated. And sometimes we even fall into thinking that our small business isn’t a target for attacks because of its size or services.
However, that is not the case. Small businesses are under attack now more than ever and, as long as your employees go without proper training, it is only a matter of time before you find yourself dealing with a major crisis.
Take this scenario for example:
Your employee comes into work and starts his day by logging into his email. The very first email in his inbox has a subject title telling him that his bank account has been hacked and he needs to change his password immediately.
WE HAVE NOTICED SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY ON YOUR ACCOUNT …
The name of the bank is correct, the logo is familiar, and the link in the email looks legit. And so he clicks it. The website opens in a new tab, again, everything looking as it should. He goes through the steps: enters his email and password, answers the security question about his mother’s maiden name and the street he grew up on, and, in some cases, even gives his social security number for further confirmation.
His account must be safe now, right?
Wrong. Unfortunately, what he doesn’t know is that this email wasn’t from his bank, but rather it was a phishing attack. Despite his wishes to secure his account, your employee has just put all of his personal information in the hands of scammers and thieves who proceed to log into his bank accounts, social media, shopping websites, and any other online profiles they can find. He is now compromised.
But it’s not just your employee at risk here. He did all of this on a work computer. The site he visited automatically downloaded harmful malware to your network and the same hackers are breaching your systems to steal whatever information and data they can find.
That sounds like a nightmare.
Your employees should be your first defense
against outside cyber-attackers.
You may be asking what you can do to prevent this from happening. In addition to ensuring that you have a good network and data security for your devices, you should also be investing in complete IT training for all of your employees.
What should IT training cover for it to be complete? Here are just a few of the topics:
- Phishing e-mails and phone calls
- Poor or outdated passwords
- Malicious software that is hidden in links, attachments, or online ads
- Poorly configured security on employee devices (a big deal for remote employees!)
- Lack of guidelines related to the Internet or social media usage on employee devices
- Outdated software or hardware
It is important to remember that this training should not be a one-time session, but rather an ongoing learning experience. Just as you continuously update your machines, you should be keeping your employee’s cybersecurity knowledge up to date as well so that they will be able to keep up with the newest cyber-attack trends.
Your employees are your first defense against outside cyber-attacks. When they know what they should be looking for, they will be better equipped to protect your business from potential harm.
Figuring out the best way to train your employees is a big task. Thankfully, you don’t have to figure it out alone! We are here to work with you and your team to ensure that they are able to ready to identify and protect your business from potential cybersecurity attacks.