Keeping your employees well trained on things like data security and how to spot a phishing email can be a challenge. Most business owners are more focused on keeping their business profitable and growing.
But without a strong network safety strategy, a company can easily be caught off guard and fall victim to a devastating ransomware attack or cloud account breach.
Employees are one of your first lines of defense against becoming a cyberattack victim, and if they’re well trained on security best practices, your risk can be reduced significantly.
This month is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and it’s the perfect opportunity to rejuvenate your employee security training. This designation began back in 2004, just as the internet was getting popular and becoming more dangerous.
The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) offers multiple free resources, including tip sheets, webinar PDFs, social media messages, and more. You can download these here and use them to improve security awareness at your business.
Below, we’ll highlight several of the great tips for data, network, and online security that you’ll find among these resources.
Tips to Share With Your Team for Cybersecurity Awareness
Creating Strong Passwords
- Substitute characters & numbers for letters: One way to make common words in a password harder to hack is to use substitution. For example, use @ instead of an “a” or ! instead of an “i” in a word.
- Use a longer passphrase: Passphrases are a great way to keep your password easy to remember but also hard to guess. The longer a password is, the more difficult it is to breach. Use the title of a book you’ve just read or another phrase that you like in place of a short password.
- Use a password manager: Using a password manager makes it possible to use a strong and unique password for every account because it will remember them all for you and store them securely. Users only need to remember a single password to access all others.
Keeping Your Home Cyber Secure
- Turn off device sharing: Sharing options on your device, which are designed to easily share files with others on your network, should be turned off when not in use. These can be used by hackers to gain access to your device.
- Secure Your Wi-Fi: Make sure that you change the default username and password on your Wi-Fi. Protect that login with MFA if possible. You should also keep the router secure by logging in to the admin panel and checking for updates regularly.
- Use a guest network for work devices: Employees that are working from home can keep their business data more secure by putting their work devices on a separate “guest” network, apart from connected home devices.
Phishing Security Tips
- Think before you react: Phishing emails often use tactics of urgency to trick you into reacting before you realize the message is fake. Stop and think before reacting to any email and always assume that this could be a phishing email.
- Hover before clicking on hyperlinks: Links are often used in phishing emails to send users to malicious sites. Hover over all links before clicking to see the actual web address being used.
- Keep your antivirus/anti-malware software current: It’s important to have strong antivirus/anti-malware defenses that can help you detect malicious file attachments. Make sure to keep your software updated and current.
Travel IT Security Tips
- Back up data before you go: If you take any devices with you when traveling, it’s critical to back up all their data before you leave on your trip. You have to prepare for the potential of having the device damaged or stolen.
- Double your login protection with MFA: Enable multi-factor authentication on all your accounts. This way if you accidentally log into an account while on public Wi-fi and your password is stolen, the thief won’t be able to get into your account.
- Use VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi: You have to assume that anyone else connected to a public Wi-Fi could steal your data if it’s not encrypted. Using a VPN encrypts your data, giving you a secure connection even when on unsecured Wi-Fi.
Tips for Cybersecurity at Work
- Keep all devices up to date: A majority of malware takes advantage of software vulnerabilities. Providers often release security patches as these vulnerabilities are found, but it’s up to users to install those patches on their devices. Make sure to keep all device software updated regularly.
- Treat business data as your personal data: Employees need to be just as vigilant when protecting a spreadsheet of customer data as they are their own personal debit card numbers. Business data contains sensitive information about employees, customers, vendors, and the company itself that could be used for identity theft.
- Remember, it only takes one mistake: Just one lapse in IT security vigilance can result in a devastating breach that could cause a small business to have to close its doors. It’s important to stay consistent when protecting devices and data.
Schedule a Cybersecurity Assessment to Evaluate Your Risks
Texas I.T. Pros can help your Denton or Wise County business uncover any potential risks in your IT security through a cybersecurity assessment.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.