This year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month theme – See Yourself in Cyber – underscores the important role your ‘people’ play in keeping your business safe from security threats. Hackers frequently exploit human vulnerabilities to launch successful security breaches against a business. To minimize human error and ensure employees become your business’ greatest security asset, it’s important for you to educate and empower your employees to both recognize and mitigate threats.
This October, we’re sharing five cybersecurity awareness tips you can pass along to your employees to help them practice better cyber hygiene and defend sensitive data.
5 Cybersecurity Awareness Tips for Your Employees
Create strong passwords
Strong passwords are essential to defend against unauthorized access to accounts, devices, or data. Cybercriminals can easily crack weak passwords, so it’s important for employees to use strong passwords that are at least 8 characters and include a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Educate your employees on the best practices of creating and managing secure passwords.
To combat the challenge of password fatigue, you can also implement a password manager for employees. A password manager encrypts and stores passwords in a centralized database that is protected by a single master password. Once set up, this tool can then autofill credentials and also generate complex, random passwords for new accounts. This eliminates the dual challenge of creating and memorizing multiple passwords.
By ensuring employees are empowered with the tools and resources to avoid using weak passwords or reusing passwords across accounts, you can protect your business from cyberattacks such as credential stuffing and business email compromise, among others.
Be on alert for phishing emails
With social engineering attacks, such as phishing, hackers rely on human error to gain access to confidential data or launch a ransomware attack.
For instance, cybercriminals may send out fraudulent emails that appear to come from a trusted source, such as your company’s CEO or other senior officials, asking employees to share their credentials or download a malicious attachment. Even if a hacker tricks one employee into acting on a phishing email, they could get a viable entry point into your business to distribute malware or steal data.
Before they download an attachment or share any credentials, employees should pause to evaluate the legitimacy of an email. Conduct regular security awareness training so employees know how to spot the common red flags of phishing and report any suspicious emails to the right people within your organization.
Avoid public WIFI
Public WIFI is a convenient solution for many employees to check emails on the go or get work done. But, the security risks of public WIFI can compromise their devices and your sensitive business data. Hackers can use an unsecured or unencrypted public WIFI network to infect a device with malware, steal credentials, or even intercept any files and data being shared over the network.
While employees should avoid public WIFI networks, sometimes a free connection might be the only available option to do business. In such cases, ensure employees follow certain best practices, such as using virtual private network (VPN) or mobile hotspot for better security.
Enable two-factor or multi-factor authentication
Two-factor or multi-factor authentication techniques add an extra layer of security for all sensitive data and accounts. Both techniques require users to provide additional verification along with their login credentials.
With two-factor authentication, for instance, an employee would have to provide their password as well as a one-time code to gain access to their account. If an employee’s credentials are compromised, two-factor or multi-factor authentication will make it difficult for hackers to perform account takeovers or access data. So, encourage employees to enable two-factor or multi-factor authentication for stronger account security.
Keep software up to date
Devices with outdated software are vulnerable to security breaches. Most operating systems and applications release periodic updates that deliver critical security patches and bug fixes. Staying current with these updates is important to maintain the overall health and security of a device. So, another cybersecurity awareness tip for employees is to regularly install updates and keep software up to date for enhanced security and data protection.
Download your FREE Cybersecurity Awareness Month Tool Kit!
Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a great time to educate yourself and your employees. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered! Our partners at KnowBe4 have put together a Cybersecurity Resource Kit that you can download and share with your employees to help your users make smarter security decisions this month and beyond. This kit contains resources for both remote and in-person workers, explaining how they can defend against cyber crimes. Click below to get your free copy!
Cybersecurity Awareness Training for Employees
GraVoc’s security awareness training sessions educate employees on cybersecurity best practices and ensure they are well-equipped to recognize and mitigate a security risk. Click below to learn more about our security awareness training services!
For the second year in a row, GraVoc has been recognized on the CRN® MSP 500 list in the Pioneer 250 category!
In this blog post, we provide an overview of the SAQ types for PCI DSS v4.0 and how to select a PCI SAQ that’s right for your business.
GraVoc won a Silver Medal for Cybersecurity and a Bronze Medal for Web Design in Banker & Tradesman’s Best of 2023 readers’ choice awards!