Employee security awareness - ThrottleNetWhat good is an IT security policy if none of your employees know exactly what it means?

According to a recent study by Kaspersky Lab, 12% of employees claim to be fully aware of their organization’s IT security policies and rules. Just less than half of employees believe they share some responsibility in preventing cyberthreats within their company.

Among survey respondents, 24% did not believe their organization even had an established IT security in place, which is a completely different story.

For small business owners, these results are cause for concern, as cyber security threats like ransomware, phishing and even internal espionage grow more sophisticated by the day.

If employee security awareness wasn’t already a top concern, these results heighten the need to properly train employees on IT protocols and develop a policy if one does not exist.

Getting Your Staff to Take IT Security Seriously

Nearly 60% of small businesses affected by cyberattacks never recover, according to information from the US National Cyber Security Alliance. Employees remain the first line of defense against cyber-crime. They need to be educated on the ways your business can be targeted and the ramifications.

IT training for employees can take on many forms, and doesn’t have to be boring.

Use Visuals

Approach IT training for employees like a marketing campaign. Don’t use scare tactics or waste time with long emails that will go ignored by busy end users.

Start small with videos, infographics, posters and contests to remind your employees that they play a big part in ensuring the security of your company. 

Set Traps

A good way to test your employee’s cybersecurity aptitude is to replicate an attack yourself. After laying the groundwork through visuals, send out a fake phishing email and see who bites. You can also drop a keystroke injection device in the hallway disguised as a USB drive and get notified if someone plugs it into their workstation.

If an employee falls for either of these false alarms, pull them aside and have a one-on-one discussion about the ramifications of cyber security. Employees who recognize and report the traps can be rewarded.

Onboard Employees with Knowledge

Employee security awareness is best achieved when it is outlined from the start. On day one of new employment, ensure new employees receive copies of all your IT policies and get a signature verifying they have read your policies and will comply with them.

Employees should be trained on the proper use of passwords, the ramifications of using unauthorized software, internet and email use, personal devices, social media and protecting confidential information. 

This is in no way an all-encompassing list, but is a great start.

Use Relatable Examples

Cybersecurity at work is boring, but your employees may feel they have more to risk in their personal lives. Provide employees with resources to protect their own confidential data, shopping safely online and education about protecting their personal IoT devices. If they’re smart, they should be able to think about these things in the workplace as well.

Cyber Security Starts with You

Just as your employees need to share responsibility for protecting your organization against cybercrime, you need to share responsibility for employee security awareness.

Proper IT training for employees is applicable to everyone in your organization, and is a crucial first step in ensuring data security.

Need help? Partner with ThrottleNet to learn more. Contact us today