Even with all the other best practices in place, your efforts to enhance cybersecurity are pointless if you do not also provide your employees with related training. Train your employees to spot cybersecurity risks, minimize the possibility of threats, and to report any hazards or threats they notice. Follow these tips to teach your employees about cybersecurity awareness.
10 Cybersecurity Training Tips
Malicious Email Training
One of the most important topics to cover during cybersecurity training is malicious emails. These can include phishing emails as well as those with malicious attachments or link. Remind employees they should never share private information, including passwords, over email.
Also, ensure employees know how to confirm that the emails they receive are from the sender that appears, instead of someone spoofing the email address. This is particularly important as emails from a spoofing address are likely to have some sort of malicious intent, whether it is to phish or share a virus. Malicious email training should also include a caution never to download a file or click on a link without confirming the sender and ensuring it is safe.
Downloading Files and Attachments
The best practices for employee training regarding downloads include not only those via emails but also from cloud storage platforms or file sharing websites. Ensure employees know they should only download files if they fully trust the source.
Additionally, provide training, so employees understand the importance of scanning any files before downloading them. Supplement this aspect of training by installing software that will automatically scan all files before downloading.
Make it clear during employee training that the rules regarding downloads apply to software as well as attachments and files. Since it is common to download various free software programs including music players, web browsers, and productivity tools while at home, some employees do not even give it a second thought while at work. Downloading the wrong file, however, can lead to compromised access or data for your company.
Explain the risks of downloading software to your employees, so they understand the need for best practices. You will also need to enact and explain the policies you have in place to prevent this behavior. For example, you should consider requiring administrator approval for downloading certain file types.
Your cybersecurity training for employees should always include training on best password practices. During this training, stress the importance of passwords as one of the first lines of defense against hackers and cybercriminals. Ensure employees understand they should not reuse passwords across platforms or recycle old passwords. Teach your employees about how to create a secure password using capital and lowercase letters along with numbers and symbols.
Keep your employees informed about current password practices, as well. For example, experts believed changing the password every few months was an excellent security measure. Now, however, they recognize this does not make a difference as many employees repeat old passwords with slight variations if required to make frequent changes. Instead, encourage employees to create a robust password.
Explain the Importance of Two-Factor Authentication
While password training is necessary, ensure your employees understand it is a much better policy to include two-factor authentication for access. This method makes it significantly harder for a hacker to gain access, even if they hack a password.
Let your employees know why you are requiring or actively encouraging two-factor authentication as part of your cybersecurity measures. Make sure they understand the methods of two-factor authentication available and how to protect them.
Data Protection Training
Regardless of your industry, there are specific regulations regarding the handling of customer and company data. These regulations and the relevant data protection training are a crucial part of cybersecurity since this protection prevents data access for cybercriminals. During this training, let your employees know what the applicable regulations are and how to go about following them.
Your employee training should include information on what to do if an employee spots a security risk or thinks they may have accidentally fallen victim to a phishing attempt.
Encourage employees to report any threats as soon as they discover them and have a system in place to deal with these. Express the importance of immediately reporting threats, so your IT and cybersecurity teams have the chance to minimize the impact and take protective actions.
Connecting Devices to the Network
In today’s world with constant connectivity, it is incredibly common for employees to bring additional devices, such as smartphones or tablets, to work and want to connect them to the wireless internet. While this is useful for employees, it can pose a security threat if not done correctly. Train employees on how to properly connect personal devices to your businesses’ network while at work. Ideally, you will only allow approved devices to connect to the main network and have a separate guest network with limited connectivity to files, etc. that employees can use for their personal devices. As with every other part of training, ensure that employees understand why this type of rule is in place, so they are less likely to break it and put your company at risk.
Using Company Devices on Public Wi-Fi
The other side of the previous point is connecting work-related devices to different Wi-Fi networks. Public networks do not have the same security standards as your business network, and even an employee’s home network is likely less secure. To avoid problems, make it clear that anytime employees connect a work device to a network that is not on-site, they must take additional precautions, such as using a VPN. Provide training for the use of that VPN as well.
Include Training Specific to Each Position
While there is nothing wrong with staff-wide security awareness training, make sure those who need additional training for a specific position get it. Those who handle sensitive information, such as human resources, finance, and payroll, for example, need specialized training. Work with your cybersecurity specialist to determine which positions require targeted training and what you should include.
With comprehensive employee training that includes passwords, downloads, emails, network access, and the other factors mentioned above, you will be one step closer to eliminating cybersecurity concerns.