Cybersecurity Tips

Cybersecurity Tips for Employees: Introduction. Part 1 of 7.

The Complete Guide to Secure Behavior Online and in the Office.

The Need to Educate Employees on Cybersecurity.

When developing cybersecurity strategies, businesses typically focus on protecting their infrastructure perimeter and endpoints, since that’s where criminals usually gain access and wreak havoc.

But what happens when a threat bypasses perimeter defenses and targets an employee—in the form of a malicious email or text, or even a voicemail that might prompt an employee to respond with confidential company information? And what about an offline attack from inside the office, where an employee or an office visitor might gain access to valuable data by quickly taking something carelessly left on a desk?

According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, 86% of business executives expressed concern about cyber threats, including a lack of data security. In addition, 100% of IT professionals recently surveyed at an SMB said they could improve their cybersecurity systems. These numbers indicate an urgent need for better cybersecurity. The issue is not going away anytime soon. If anything, it’s only getting worse.

Stronger cybersecurity is now a global priority, as hackers penetrate the IT infrastructure of government and enterprises with routine ease and sophistication. According to a report by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, How to Protect Your Networks from Ransomware, 4,000 ransomware attacks occurred per day in 2016—and those numbers have only increased in the past two years.

Furthermore, the annual cost of global cybercrime damages is estimated to reach $6 trillion by 2021, according to a 2017 Cybercrime Report by Cybersecurity Ventures. Also, mobile devices, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, advanced robotics and automation all have the potential to cause major disruption to business operations, including the loss or compromise of sensitive data, loss or harm to products and operations and damage to physical property.

In this series, you’ll explore why employees need to practice strict and secure cybersecurity habits—not only to thwart digital attacks, but also to prevent someone from simply walking by their desk (in the office or at home) and picking up a device or document that contains sensitive information. You’ll also learn key steps business owners can take to educate their employees to help secure their company’s data and intellectual property. 

We can’t stress enough the importance of security awareness training for internal employees. Educating them on what it takes to protect proprietary documents and data is critical. Any leaks—intentional or unintentional—could hurt the business by providing information that assists a competitor, violates regulations, or harms the corporate image. Leaks also hurt employees by exposing sensitive personal information. Lastly, customers and business partners are also at risk from a leak, as it compromises the industry reputation of any business that does not properly protect its confidential information.

It only takes one incident to destroy any goodwill you established and built with your customer base, so protect this valuable asset with proper cybersecurity processes and hygiene!

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