A Guide to Consider while Training your Employees
Computer malware and viruses have spread over the years. Most businesses today, big or small, are susceptible to attacks from hackers and malware. Almost every industrial sector uses computers and network devices for various operations. This makes them attractive targets for hackers due to the large collection of sensitive information. For example, restaurant chains often find themselves plagued by viruses that steal the credit card data of the customers. In this age of rampant cyber threats, it is no longer the duty of just the IT department but rather the entire team of employees to be vigilant against cyber attacks.
Employees who are untrained or unaware of secure computing practices and working protocols are liable to become vulnerabilities themselves and might be exploited by hackers to gain access to systems. Such employees often fall victim to a variety of attacks such as phishing and social engineering. All companies must take initiatives to train their employees in more secure working practices. Companies usually hold various kinds of training programs and workshops in cybersecurity for their employees. Some of the basic points that companies should focus on are mentioned below:
- Have strong passwords - This is the most basic step that employees should take in order to prevent any breach of access. Passwords for accessing proprietary software and databases must be resistant against brute-force and dictionary-based attacks. This includes passwords for emails, bank accounts and company-owned systems.
- Be wary of uncommon or unidentified emails and attachments - Phishing hacks and socially engineered attacks are disguised as innocent-looking emails and attachments, which when accessed, spreads the malware across the network. Employees must be trained to verify and authenticate the source of any and all communications before opening them. The company email ID should not be disclosed to anyone other than other members of the company and should be used for official purposes only.
- Banning all forms of external media other than company provided resources - All kinds of personal or unofficial storage devices such as USB drives and external hard drives must not be allowed to connect to company-owned systems. Employees who need such storage media for their official job roles must be provided secured and official devices by the company.
- Authentication protocols during data submission - While submitting sensitive information on computer systems such as bank details, operational information or design data, employees must follow proper protocols that ensure the safety of data during storage and transmission.
Employees are the number one asset of any organisation. However, it is imperative to arm them with the necessary tools and knowledge so that they can perform their duties impeccably, and not cause any harm to the organisation unknowingly.