Nov 19, 2013

Tech-ssential Ingredients: Internet Security Education Program for Your Employees

The culprit behind most security breaches is not a weak firewall or the wrong antivirus software. According to Cisco Systems, the culprit is usually employee behavior. By convincing your employees why network security is critical and educating them on how to be secure, you strengthen your network security system more than you could with almost any other tool.

Utilize a Toolkit

Rather than drafting your own security seminars and making your own list of top security goals, work with a company who has experience establishing IT safety in small businesses. Companies like Sophos offer free toolkits that have been specifically designed to help small business owners who are looking for a way to train their employees in internet safety. At Sophos, you can choose the tools you need, and the options include employee handbooks, posters, emails, training videos and more. Regardless of how much you know about internet security, a tool kit can help you organize that knowledge into lessons and reminders that your employees will really embrace.

Make It Personal

Employees will endure a boring seminar about IT safety, but they may not understand its importance until you highlight how it could affect them. When focusing on data breaches, talk about their personal details that are stored in your HR computers rather than the intellectual property you are trying to safeguard. If you have a BYOD (bring your own device) program, recommends that you ensure that it will be the employees own devices rather than a company computer that will be compromised in the event of a security breach. If your employees think it is personal, they will be more likely to understand and follow your ban on risky apps, your requirement for two-factor authentication passwords, and the importance of having software that allows them to switch from personal to work mode as needed on their BYOD device.

Offer Fraud Protection

Despite your best efforts, your IT security may be compromised at some point. Whether an employee transmits data over a public WiFi connection or someone falls for a scam, you need to provide fraud protection as a response to the situation. With fraud protection in place from a provider like Lifelock, you can minimize the amount of damage that you, your company, or your employees will have to endure.

Disaster Response

In addition to having protection in place, you need to train your employees on how to deal with an issue when it occurs. Make sure that your employees know whom to call or what to do when they click on an infected attachment. Sometimes, your instructions may be as simple as shutting down the computer and waiting for help to arrive from the IT department, but regardless of your desired protocol, make sure that your employees understand it and are willing to follow it.

Constant Vigilance

Security training isn't something that should happen once per year. If you integrate it into your daily operations, your company will be safer. Set your computers to update your virus software regularly and automatically, have your internal software prompt your employees for new passwords every month, and remind your employees to change the passwords on their private accounts that often as well. By integrating these five tools, you will boost your company's safety and ultimately protect yourself personally and financially.

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