People should not underestimate the value of cyber security Training. As the world becomes ever more connected, information security measures are increasingly important to ensure that all data is kept safe and secure from potential threats. And while this is extremely relevant when it comes to computer systems that process sensitive or personal information, employees can also help protect company databases by exercising good cyber security habits in their everyday working lives. From following best practices when sharing passwords with colleagues through to reporting suspicious emails.
Below we detail 10 top cyber security training tips for employees:
1) Be Wary of Phishing Attacks
Phishing attacks involve emails appearing to come from a trusted source containing malicious links or attachments. These could contain viruses or spyware, allowing attackers to remotely take control of a device and access company systems without the user\’s knowledge.
To help prevent falling victim to such attacks, employees should never click on links in unsolicited emails, nor should they download attachments unless they are 100 percent certain that someone within the organization has sent these. Additionally, users should make sure anti-virus software is up-to-date, especially if company databases contain sensitive information.
2) Exercise Caution When Posting on Social Media Sites
Even if employees are using social media sites for personal reasons during their own time, the content they generate can still see by others. For example, photos posted on Facebook may pick up via Google Images search results.
People can also use posts on social media sites to glean information about an individual, such as their location and interests. Cyber attackers may even try befriending employees over social media in a bid to extract sensitive data.
Organizations should issue guidelines on what content is acceptable and maintain a presence on employees\’ favorite social networking sites to discourage them from downloading applications that they do not need or visiting websites that may potentially infect malware.
3) Report Suspicious Emails
Phishing emails look like they come from legitimate sources in an attempt to steal personal or financial information. Therefore, employees should never open attachments or click on any links within emails unless they are certain of their source.
If suspicious activity is suspected when it comes, for example, to accessing company databases, employees should report this immediately using a support desk or help-desk system.
4) Use Longer and Unique Passwords
Passwords such as \”password\”, \”qwerty\”, and numbers (such as 1111) are relatively easy for cybercriminals to guess due to the amount of information that is readily available online. Organizations should encourage their employees to use longer and more complex passwords consisting of random letters, numbers, and symbols when allowed.
When creating passwords, users should also try to avoid using the same password across different web accounts. It can help prevent attackers from gaining access to multiple systems if one account falls under their control. And to avoid security breaches in case an employee\’s password is compromised, companies should consider using a support desk or help-desk system that can reset passwords and unlock accounts in the event of suspected abuse.
5) Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA), sometimes also referred to as multi-factor authentication, adds an extra layer of security to the traditional username and password login systems by requiring employees to input not only their credentials but also a randomly generated code after successfully logging in. This code will be delivered via email or texted via SMS text message.
Without this code, hackers will find it impossible to gain access to the account even if they manage to extract the user\’s password, making 2FA one of the most effective ways for organizations to ensure that only those with authorized access can gain entry to company databases.
6) Maintain Up-to-Date Software
Cyber attackers often exploit highly exploitable vulnerabilities in outdated software, with hackers using automated tools known as \”exploit kits\” to scan the internet for devices running outdated operating systems and web browsers.
Therefore, employees must ensure that any computers or mobile phones they use to access work systems are running up-to-date editions of the latest version of their preferred browser, alongside having anti-virus software installed. Furthermore, these items should ideally be issued directly by the company rather than via personal email accounts to limit exposure to malware.
7) Beware of Remote Access Applications
In some cases, employees may have no option but to use remote access applications to access company databases when away from the office. However, certain types of software may need updating to maintain an appropriate level of security, while others could potentially expose sensitive data if used over unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
To mitigate this risk, employees should only use approved remote access applications for work purposes and avoid clicking on any links or downloading attachments unless they know they come directly from their organization. They should also use virtual private networks (VPNs) to encrypt traffic whenever possible.
8) Beware of Mobile Apps
Many mobile apps ask for excessive permissions once installed, including access to user accounts containing sensitive information, contact lists, and other hardware features such as GPS locations. As such, employees should only download mobile apps from official stores and avoid installing applications that claim to provide useful functionality, such as phone cleaners or ringtones.
9) Train Employees on Security Awareness
One of the best methods for organizations is to ensure their employees understand the potential risks. When using company systems, they face security awareness training schemes, which can help raise staff awareness regarding phishing emails and other forms of social engineering attacks. Attackers may use these types of methods to fool staff members into disclosing sensitive information via email and web-based text messaging services.
10) Set up Spam Filters
Many employees use unencrypted mail services such as Gmail for work purposes, potentially exposing passwords and other sensitive data if intercepted by cybercriminals. To prevent this, it is vital that employees only use approved email service providers for work purposes and configure spam filters to flag messages coming from unknown senders.
Although cyber security training is a valuable method for organizations looking to improve their incident response capabilities, it remains a nascent discipline in most companies. It must be treated with care if it is going to succeed.
While it is an important part of any organization\’s security strategy, many companies are still struggling to introduce effective cyber security training programs that include interactive lessons and specific modules that they can access without prior approval. However, this technique is critical for encouraging employees to adopt good cyber hygiene habits to avoid falling foul of social engineering attacks, which can have costly consequences if not adequately addressed.
Sarah has been writing for a decade and now for the learn online Quran Website. She obtained her Master\’s degree at the University of London. Her main objective is to write insightful content for those people who read and like it.