You’ve probably heard the saying, “You’re only as good as the people around you,” and when it comes to digital security, that’s definitely true. You can have the most sophisticated hardware available, use the most up-to-date security measures and software and have air-tight procedures, but if the people that work for you don’t understand the fundamentals of digital security, your business will always be vulnerable to attacks.
That’s why “people” is the fourth pillar of digital security. It’s essential that every employee at your business be educated on digital security and have the resources they need to implement secure transactions.
Train Them to Have a Critical Eye
Today’s sophisticated scammers make it necessary for your employees to maintain a certain level of vigilance in everyday interactions. Train employees to keep an eye out for anything that appears different than normal. That might be an email that seems a little off or unexpected, a phone call that doesn’t quite sound right, or a visitor that doesn’t have proper identification.
It’s important to train your employees to recognize digital scamming techniques like phishing, spear phishing and spoofing and be aware of the threat of malware, ransomware and viruses. For maximum impact, train them with real-life examples that have happened in your own industry. You can test your employee’s ability to recognize scams like phishing with online tests and scenarios. It’s important to conduct unannounced phishing testing on a periodic basis using a trusted, third-party firm, such as Duo.
Because scams are constantly evolving, it’s important that this type of training and education isn’t just a one-time event, but a continual conversation and learning opportunity. When you hear of a new scam, send an article about it to your employees via email or print it out and tape it up near the water cooler. Keeping digital security on their minds will help them maintain the vigilance they need to stop fraud from happening.
Keep Sensitive Information In, Suspicious Information Out
One way that fraudsters break into a business’ data is by capturing an employee’s login and password when they enter it on an unsecure network or site. Teach your employees that they should never enter login information outside of the normal outlets, especially email.
In addition, company data needs to only be saved to secure networks and servers, not on personal devices like phones or laptops. Don’t allow your employees to use USB storage devices, as these can be an entry point for viruses and malware that could lead to an attack.
Teach your employees to be wary of unexpected, unsolicited, or suspicious email attachments. If they’re unsure about the source or safety of an attachment, have them contact IT to verify its security.
IT Staff That Is Trusted and Approachable
We’ve all met the IT nerd that only speaks computer language and has an eye roll and impatient sigh ready for any question they perceive to be beneath their dignity. That’s not the kind of person you want running your IT department. No matter their level of expertise, their demeanor will keep other employees from using them as a resource.
Your employees need to feel that the IT department is there to help. Not only can this kind of collegial relationship prevent an attack, but it’s crucial if an attack actually occurs. If an employee falls victim to a scam or phishing attack and avoids telling your IT professional because they fear they’ll be met with scorn, it can worsen the effects of the attack. ITT can provide remediation resources to the individual and organization, but only if they’re a trusted part of your team.
Keeping an Eye Out
You want hardware and software that are set up to recognize suspicious patterns and unusual occurrences. But the human brain is set up to do the same thing and can be a powerful weapon in fighting fraud. Train your employees to know how, when and why cyber attacks happen, and you’ll vastly increase your ability to ward off and recognize an attack.
That’s it! On top of all of this criminals are constantly improving their methodologies so we have to constantly be on out the lookout for new ways to safeguard our companies and customers.
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