It may seem counterintuitive, but technology is not the only important tool for preventing your IT system from attack; people are. This is because people are often easier to manipulate than protected IT infrastructure and humans can quickly become the weakest point in a system. One study found that 48% of people were willing to give up their password information in exchange for something as simple as a chocolate bar. This means that it’s important for SMEs not to overlook cybersecurity awareness training as part of their security measures.
When it comes to the security of your system, especially with many people working offsite on their own Wi-Fi networks and outside of an office environment these days, it’s important to equip your employees with the tools and information they need to prevent cyberattacks.
Attacks that target human behaviour
Some of the most common attacks that can be prevented through better cybersecurity training are phishing scams and malware.
People are the easiest point of entry for any hacker, which is why phishing scams are so common and so successful. Phishing uses email or another form of communication to trick someone into giving away their security or personal information. If people know some of the more obvious ways to spot phishing, it can reduce many security risks.
Malware is a malevolent programme that gets into a system when a user opens a file that contains the malware code. These files are often disguised as something else, which is why people are tempted to open them.
Tips for staying safe
There are a few simple things that people can do as a starting point for staying cyber safe:
» Change passwords regularly: If remembering different passwords is a challenge, your IT service provider can recommend a secure password management tool so that each person only has master password that needs to be remembered and changed regularly.
» Carefully look at the sender’s email address: If it’s not from a recognisable or reputable organisation, or the address has numbers or strange punctuation and capitalization, encourage people to rather ignore the message or pass it on to your IT team to check before responding or opening any attachments.
» Consider moving internal company interactions onto a business communication channel like Microsoft Teams or Slack. These tools have an extra security layer that email doesn’t and they reduce the number of emails that employees get, giving them the inbox space to be more aware of any unusual or suspicious emails they receive.
» Educating employees about what can go wrong for the company if data is hacked. This will help them remember what’s at stake and why it matters to remain vigilant.
» Ongoing training to keep cybersecurity front of mind for everyone at your company.
Protect your organization and your reputation from cyber criminals by starting from the inside-out, for more help with improving cybersecurity awareness, contact us today.