With the increasing number of cyber-attacks and data breaches, it is essential for companies to take proactive measures to protect their sensitive information and assets. However, despite investing in the latest security technologies and protocols, many businesses overlook one critical aspect of cyber security – their employees.
The truth is, your employees could be the weakest link in your cyber security chain. Whether it’s through phishing scams, weak passwords, or social engineering tactics, cyber criminals often target employees as the easiest way to gain access to sensitive information.
The importance of your cyber security posture
A security posture refers to the overall approach a company takes to protect its assets from cyber threats. This includes everything from implementing firewalls and antivirus software, to training employees on best practices for cyber security.
Unfortunately, many businesses overlook the importance of a strong security posture when it comes to their employees. While it’s essential to have the right technologies in place, your employees play a critical role in keeping your information secure. They are often the first line of defense against cyber-attacks and can help prevent breaches from happening in the first place.
1. Falling for phishing emails
Phishing emails are designed to look like legitimate messages from a trusted source. They often contain links to fake websites or malicious attachments that can infect a computer with malware.
Unfortunately, employees are often the targets of phishing attacks. This is because they may not be aware of the signs of a phishing scam, and are more likely to click on a link or download an attachment without thinking twice.
To prevent employees from falling for phishing scams, provide regular training on how to identify these types of emails. This includes looking for misspellings or grammatical errors in the message, checking the sender’s email address to ensure it’s legitimate, and avoiding clicking on any links or downloading attachments unless they are certain it’s safe to do so.
2. Using unsecured devices
When employees use unsecured devices to access company information, they put that information at risk. If their device is compromised, it can lead to a data breach or cyber-attack. This includes personal laptops or mobile devices that are not officially designated by the business
It’s important to establish a clear policy for the use of personal devices in the workplace. This may include requiring employees to use company-owned equipment for work-related tasks, or implementing security protocols for personal devices that are used to access company information.
3. Setting weak passwords
Employees may use passwords that are easy to guess or reuse the same password across multiple accounts. This can make it easy for cyber criminals to gain access to sensitive information.
To prevent employees from setting weak passwords, establish a password policy that requires employees to use strong passwords, and change them regularly. This may include requiring a minimum length for passwords, and the use of a password manager.
Sharing user credentials
When credentials are shared, it becomes more difficult to track who has access to sensitive information. This can lead to a breach or cyber attack if an unauthorised user gains access to the system.
Set clear policies and procedures for the use of user credentials. This may include requiring employees to use unique login information for each system or account, implementing multi-factor authentication for sensitive systems, and regularly auditing user access to ensure that only authorised users have access to sensitive information
5. Leaking data or business information
Employees may accidentally or intentionally leak business data. This can occur through social media posts or emails sent to the wrong recipient.
Limiting access to sensitive information for only those employees who need it to perform their job duties will assist in reducing data leaks, or implementing document management systems to track who has access to sensitive documents.
Increase your cyber security posture with expert help
By providing regular training on best practices for cyber security and fostering a culture of awareness, you will better protect your business from cyber threats.
The cyber security team at Itopia can train your employees on security best practices, and monitor and manage your environment to ensure security protocols are met at all times.