Cybersecurity is now a threat to all organizations with a website or any online presence at all. In the past data breaches, DDoS attacks, and any common forms of cybersecurity attacks are indeed more commonly targeted at huge enterprises and big companies, but nowadays, many cybercriminals are targeting more vulnerable small and medium-sized businesses.
For all businesses with an IT network, in the event when the network is compromised, it will put your business’s data, finances, and reputation on the line. A data breach of your network security can potentially lead to financial losses and even hefty legal battles with customers. This is why it’s very important to implement cybersecurity best practices in your organization.
On the other hand, human errors remain the top reason for data breaches and other successful cybersecurity attacks, so your employees actually hold the key to your organization’s data security. This is why we should start with our employees in implementing workplace IT security, and here are some key tips for employers to elevate workplace cybersecurity best practices.
- Building a Conducive IT Security Culture
It’s important to understand that your organization’s culture regarding cybersecurity is not something that grows organically, but instead, you’d need to be proactive in investing and building your own cybersecurity culture.
Sustainable cybersecurity culture is more than just a single campaign or event, but instead, it should be a continuous cycle that improves upon itself, building a better and better IT security overtime.
A sustainable cybersecurity culture has four key features:
- Disruptive to the organization’s original state in improving security, while deliberate with a set of actions to foster the change.
- Engaging and fun for employees so they are willing to participate
- Reward and punishment. While it should be strict in its implementation, it should be rewarding enough for those who invest their time and effort
- Profitable. Should provide a positive ROI in the long run
Also, your cybersecurity culture should focus on humans instead of computers/devices: human employees need a framework to understand what can and cannot be done in relation to IT security. In most cases, your employees want to do the right thing for security, they just need to know how.
- Investing In Security Infrastructure
In order to ensure a high level of IT security within your organisation, is it essential to invest in the correct infrastructure. Investing in cybersecurity and bot protection solutions like DataDome, that are completely automated and run on autopilot, mean that you can protect your online services with no input from your IT team.
It is also essential to invest in proper cybersecurity training within your organisation to ensure your IT team is up to date with the latest trends, tools and use the best practices in IT security.
- Regular Security Awareness Training
Effective education and training are very important if you want to elevate your employees’ abilities in identifying and responding to various cybersecurity threats.
Ideally, all employees at every level of your organization should receive regular cybersecurity training, at least to defend against common cybersecurity threats that are the most threatening for your organization. Also, we’d need to regularly update the training to include the latest changes in the ever-evolving cybersecurity attack vectors. For example, we should train employees to recognize phishing and social-engineering attacks, use strong and unique passwords, and to never pass personal or sensitive information in response to an unknown email, pop-up webpage, or other suspicious forms of communication that aren’t initiated by the employee.
Your security awareness training should include:
- Educating employees on various cybersecurity attack vectors
- Raise awareness of the sensitivity of data in the organization
- Building awareness regarding cybersecurity best practices to encourage procedures are followed correctly
- Provide comprehensive information on how to avoid social engineering attacks like Phishing emails and other forms of attacks
- Education on common signs of incoming cybersecurity attacks and how to respond against them
- Build a cybersecurity culture to achieve increased security compliance
- Adopting Regular Use of VPN on Sensitive Data Transfer
Most hackers tend to target data traffic that comes inside or outside the organization’s network. Nowadays, with how employees use smartphones, tablets, and various other mobile devices with cellular network (or worse) public Wi-Fi, there are plenty of opportunities for hackers to perform this type of attack.
When the data traffic is compromised, a hacker then can launch more dangerous attacks by exploiting the compromised user’s vulnerabilities. For example, the perpetrator can steal the compromised employee’s credentials and access the organization’s network to steal various assets on the network.
This is why it’s crucial to secure data traffic from individual employees especially when they are using public Wi-Fi, and this is where VPNs come in.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) can effectively encrypt the user’s identity and all data transmission between this employee and your network. However, make sure to use a reputable, high-quality VPN, or else it can add to further issues.
- Implement Leadership-Driven Cyber Governance
Your employees, obviously, are only going to be as strong as the leader(s) above them.
It’s essential to make sure your leadership/executive personnel are also actively governing cybersecurity best practices, and understand how to effectively communicate it to the rest of your employees to encourage organization-wide implementation.
Maintain regular meetings regarding the latest cybersecurity updates and best practices between high-level executives and the IT leader of the company. The IT leader should update the other leaders with the latest cybersecurity report, and update them about the current state of the company’s cybersecurity implementations.
Also, don’t forget the importance of the middle managers since they are going to be ones working directly with employees. Only when the leadership is committed to establishing a strong cybersecurity culture that the employees can follow suit.
It’s very important to start investing in building your organization’s cybersecurity culture if you haven’t already. Culture change takes time, so the earlier you invest in it, the better.
IT security in the workplace shouldn’t be static, as cybersecurity threats and cybercriminals are also evolving. There will always be room to elevate new cybersecurity practices in the workplace to improve upon the existing one. Staying on top of these cybersecurity practices we have discussed above could be the main difference between a secure network and a major data breach.
Author: Mike Khorev, Mike is passionate about all emerging technologies in the IT space and loves to write about all of them. He is a lifetime marketing and internet expert with over 10 years of experience in web technologies, SEO, online marketing, and cybersecurity.