Employees are the forefront of information security. Whether you’re a small business or not, it’s important to make sure your company’s network and data is safe and secure.
Sometimes smaller companies can be targeted because they may have less control, making them easier to infiltrate compared to large organisations. But although cyber security breaches can be a result of external weaknesses, the weakest security links are the employees. Hackers are able to gain information and access the company’s systems due to employee negligence, ignorance and error.
This can be hard for a business to recover from, with the cost of clean-up, stress, data compromise and loss of customer trust.
The first step to protecting your business and organisation starts with educating and training the employees
Here are a few simple tips employees should practice in order to protect the company.
1. Protect your data from unknown emails and links
It’s important to not reveal sensitive company information – this is a no brainer, but you’d be surprise how often it happens. Scammers and hackers can create websites and emails that appear legit and can use that as a way to gain information.
Phishing has become really popular and their goal is to get you to click a link which can lead to a security breach. A lot of these links may have viruses and malwares embedded in them. So it’s important to be vigilant when clicking a link or an email with an attachment from an unknown sender.
2. Avoid using public Wi-Fi
Now more that ever, many employees are working remotely. Whether on the go, at a hotel, a café or just anywhere that’s not the office, it’s always good to avoid connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks. This is an extremely easy way for others to get info such as passwords and emails. If you find yourself desperate to use one, a VPN can make it much more secure. Hackers would have to face strong encryption in order to get any data.
3. Use strong passwords
Having a strong and complicated password is beneficial in stopping cyber criminals from getting company information. If they can figure out your password then they can access the company network.
Creating, complex and unique passwords are important. Passwords with at least 10 characters, including numbers, symbols, lowercase and capital letters are strong passwords. You should update your passwords regularly – using a password manager can help with this.
It’s also smart to not use the same password for multiple platforms. We know it’s tempting and can be difficult to remember a series of complex passwords, but it’s not a good idea – don’t do it. If one password is bypassed it has the potential to cause widespread damage.
4. Use Multi-factor authentication
Two-factor or Multi-factor authentication adds a layer of protection and makes it more difficult for hackers to access your data. It’s best to use one that doesn’t connect to a phone number like Google Authenticator, because phone numbers aren’t really that secure. This should be a priority for any business.
5. Have a security system
Investing in a good security system includes protections like antivirus and malware detection, running regular system checks and backing up data to an external hard drive. For smaller businesses this may seem like an unnecessary cost but implementing this at an early stage can save the company and it’s employees from a possible financial and legal cost.
All devices used at work or at home, to store or access sensitive information should have strong security software protection.
Want an extra layer of protection?
Putting the right IT security measures in place to protect your data and staying compliant, can reduce cybercrime. At PCW Solutions we manage and support your IT infrastructure to proactively detect, resolve and report incidents around the clock. To learn more about our IT Security package, contact us today!
Read our last article on Why You Should Backup Your Microsoft 365