Welcome to this fourth article in our useful Employer Series: Exploring People Management in the Digital Era. Cybersecurity is one of the greatest concerns for businesses. In our last article, we looked at ways employers can make the workplace more secure.
One of those ways is by ensuring all employees follow a unified cybersecurity policy. In this article, we’re going to look more carefully at actions that will help you support your teams to be more secure, mitigate digital vulnerability, and avoid cyberattack.
Your employees are your partners in cybersecurity. Their actions have a huge impact on the security of your organization, from how they react to a single phishing email to how often they change their passwords. These five tips will help you implement cybersecurity workforce solutions that support your efforts to keep your business secure and your employees educated and empowered.
- Educate Employees on Phishing
Cybercriminals use spoof emails and email addresses to gather information or to send malware onto a company network. Training employees on how to recognize phishing emails is a key step in preventing problems such as ransomware or data loss. Your employees should know never to click on a link from an email, never to open an attachment they’re unsure of, to always scan attachments, and to always check the actual email address the email has come from. Other red flags to look out for are obvious spelling errors, emails not in a company-accepted format, or a “company-wide” email only sent to one or two people.
- Treat all Employees Equally
When it comes to cybersecurity, everyone needs to be in the loop. A single worker who ignores the policies in place could pose a massive risk to the organization. Yet according to the CSO Global Intelligence report, only 49% of companies insist that their remote workers adhere to company cybersecurity policies. That’s potentially 41% of all remote employees who could create easy ways for malicious actors to access the company network.
Cybersecurity workforce solutions are only as effective as their weakest link. Check that you have an accurate list of all employees and a record of whether or not they’ve received a copy of your latest company cybersecurity policy. It’s also critical to ensure they understand the policy and to address any gaps in understanding immediately.
- Invest in Effective Employee Education
As we touched on in the last article, your employees are your greatest asset, which is why you should invest in them and help them reach their potential. On-the-job training is effective because it ensures employee attendance as opposed to training that they do on their own time, and it also boosts the morale of employees. It may even increase their loyalty to the company.
Dover’s founder, Sanquinetta Dover, says that “…employers who invest time and resources in their workforce will see returns in both the short-term and the long-term. Employee education isn’t just a tool for company success – it improves self-confidence and innovation within your teams.”
When you see gaps in cybersecurity awareness, don’t blame the individuals. Instead, try to assess how far the issue spreads within your company and work with an effective partner to create the right educational programs to bring your employees back up to speed and empower them to make the right choices to avoid cyberattacks.
- Engage Directors and Managers With Cybersecurity Education
In addition to making sure all of your employees are included in your cybersecurity efforts, it’s also critical to involve your directors or other stakeholders in the development and implementation of cybersecurity policies. Ensuring you have support from the highest levels within your company means you should receive the funding and investment you require to get the education your teams need. Perhaps you could arrange a monthly or quarterly cybersecurity catch-up to discuss potential threats or review the impact of your current educational program.
If you are in the director’s seat yourself, work it the other way and ensure you have all your managers on board with rolling out the right education. Give examples of businesses that failed to update their cybersecurity policies, such as the Colonial Pipeline attack of May 2021, or the events at the water treatment plant in Florida. The Florida attack particularly highlights the impact a single employee can have, as it was just one vigilant worker who prevented a crisis – thanks to them having up-to-date cybersecurity awareness.
- Training on Creating Effective Passwords
If you don’t have a password manager, you need to train your employees to understand the importance of effective passwords. The aforementioned Colonial Pipeline attack may have occurred due to a lapse in password standards, showing how critical it is to maintain security at every level. All employees should know not to use the same passwords for different systems or devices. They should also be aware of your company rules regarding passwords. If you don’t have any, it’s a great idea to write policies that encourage consistency and awareness.
Dover Training Institute knows that there are many challenges when it comes to training and educating teams on cybersecurity, particularly in industries where the threat is relatively new. That’s why we’re working on a new program covering cybersecurity workforce solutions that will provide the right resources for businesses looking to eliminate their digital vulnerabilities. Contact Dover Training Institute for further information.