Creating a safe environment in the workplace is the requirement of any organization. When businesses were mainly manufacturing or trading via book-keeping records, dealing with direct customers, safety concerns were limited to only external measures. The organization’s concern for protection was against burglary, fire accidents, natural calamities, etc. With the advancement in online trading and businesses growing beyond the limitations of borders, safety measures are becoming more compound from both individual and IT infrastructure perspective. Cybersecurity is a branch of security that deals with complete IT infrastructure i.e, IT assets, digital information, and more, of the organization. Having a cyber safe environment is crucial for the success of any business and builds confidence among its internal and external customers.
5 Ways to Bring Awareness and Boost Cybersecurity at Work
When employees are educated on the necessity of cybersecurity and the measures to implement security, the entire organization will benefit.
1. Establish Policies and Procedures
Spell out the expectations clearly before you bring an entire crew on board. The standards should be defined based on different levels in the organization. For a higher managerial level, the security standards must be different from that of lower and middle-level executives. Whereas, some departments, like HR and Finance, might require more security than others. Whatever the standard, ensuring that the policies and procedures are defined is very important.
2. Concentrate on the Basics
All employees should be given basic security training regularly. A refreshment overview of security policies must be conducted from time-to-time. The training should be focused on measures that are essential for cybersecurity, including limited access. Ensure that employees are given access to systems based on their needs and that equal access is not given to all employees, regardless of their position and department needs. Also, monitoring login activity, to understand if there is any unauthorized access or any frequent failed login attempts is also imperative. Removing access immediately upon termination of employment or even if the employee is on long leave or away from the system will help with safety measures.
Emphasizing the importance to create a password using a combination of letters, numbers, capitalized letters, and special symbols will help keep data secure to an extent. Avoiding common dictionary words or passwords that can be cracked easily is equally important. Explaining the importance of longer passwords to employees to avoid a brute-force attack during the security training will help instill the value of creating strong passwords.
*A brute force attack is a trial-and-error method that hackers use to crack passwords. They often attempt to access an account using automated software that generates a large number of consecutive guesses. It is used by cybercriminals to crack encrypted data.
4. Dual-Factor Authentication
A two-factor authentication strengthens security significantly. Many employees might find this a cumbersome, time-consuming task, but it is important to encourage them to maintain this practice. This will help reduce unauthorized access.
5. Safe Telecommuting
The rise in flexible work schedules and home-based work habits are creating a heavy demand for telecommuting. Though this brings comfort to employees and brings easy access to employers, it is causing a major security risk to organizations. People outside the office often connect their official systems to open wi-fi networks at coffee shops or airports, which are not protected by a VPN. By doing so, a lurking cyber attacker might gain access to confidential information stored on the device or may even gain access to official cloud-based servers. Therefore, it is necessary to educate employees on the drawbacks of open internet access and train them to verify the authentication of an internet connection.
6. Engaging Computer Security Awareness Training
Training in computer security awareness shouldn’t be lethargic. It should involve engagement activities so that the audience becomes a significant contributor to security. The training and awareness sessions should be short duration and should be taken regularly throughout the year.
7. Establish a Positive Environment
Imposing restrictions without explaining the need for doing so can leave an employee disgruntled. Cybersecurity practice should not be treated as a compulsion, but rather, should be introduced as a personal safety measure, for the betterment of the individual and the organization. The cybersecurity department should be willing to answer all queries. The entire activity should make people aware of the security concerns and the positive impact, and not scaring them with the consequences.
Do you want to be a part of the growing cybersecurity industry? You can begin your career with EC-Council University which offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in cybersecurity. The Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity focuses on areas that deal with cybersecurity management, incident response, and security threat assessment which enables students to be creators of knowledge and not just users of information. Additionally, students are also trained in leadership and management skills that would benefit them in implementing security measures in the organization.