Cybersecurity Awareness Month Week 3: 5 Ways Your Employees Can Be Your Company’s #1 Cyber Defenders

October 16, 2017

This month, ACA Aponix is participating in the Department of Homeland Security's Stop.Think.Connect Campaign for National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NSCAM). Each week in October, we will provide best practices and guidance on the ways you can protect your business from cyber threats.

This week's topic is 5 Ways Your Employees Can Be Your Company’s #1 Cyber Defenders.

Human error remains a significant security threat to businesses of all sizes. According to a survey conducted by the Identify Theft Resource Center, 55% of data breaches in 2016 involved hacking, phishing, or skimming attacks. In addition to these causes, there are many other ways in which your employees could leave your firm susceptible to a cyber incident, including conducting company business on public Wi-Fi networks, not updating devices with the latest software, and not taking proper precautions to secure sensitive company and client data.

To help protect your firm from the financial losses and reputational damage that may occur as the result of a breach or other cyber incident, it’s critical that your employees are trained to identify and prevent cyber threats as well as respond appropriately to a potential cyber incident.

Human Error and Cybersecurity

5 Ways Your Employees Can Be Your Company’s #1 Cyber Defenders

Here are 5 ways you can prepare your employees to prevent, identify, and respond to potential cyber threats:

  1. Teach them how to identify phishing and spear phishing threats — Train your employees to recognize malicious emails. For example, educate them on how to check for spoofed email addresses and not click links or download files from suspicious or unknown senders.

  2. Educate them on how to identify and protect sensitive company data — Your employees should know what the company considers to be sensitive data. Implement policies (e.g., a clean desk policy which specifies how employees should leave their work space) to enforce the protection of that data.

  3. Enforce strong passwords, implement a password manager across the enterprise, and rotate passwords often — For more, see our Password Strength Best Practices and our webcast on Password Management Strategies.
  4. Require remote employees to use a secure remote access solution such as a virtual private network (VPN) — This will help shield your company’s data from prying eyes on public or unsecured networks.

  5. Keep software updated and make sure devices are secure — Enable the automatic download feature for critical patches when available, and make sure employees keep their devices up-to-date and secure. For more, see our post on Being Smart About Your Smartphone

Upcoming Topics

  • Don’t Let Third Parties Be Your Downfall — How to Ensure Your Vendors are Protecting Your Assets — October 23
     
  • Top Cybersecurity Trends to Plan for in 2018 — October 30

Previous Topics

For More Information

If you have any questions, please contact your regular ACA Aponix consultant or email us at info@acaaponix.com.