Most business owners know they need to be protected from outside threats, but did you know you’re your employees could also be a threat? So how are your employees a risk? Is there anything you can do to mitigate that risk?
Risks Facing Employees
Your employees face a number of risks when using the Internet:
- phishing attempts to steal their corporate or personal logins,
- malicious links in emails that install bad software, especially ransomware that can infect not just their computers, but also every other computer connected to the corporate network.
While there is risk when employees use the internet, it is important that the internet be available so that they can do the jobs they were hired for. Even with all the cyber threats out there, there are ways to reduce your employees’ risk while using the internet
How to Mitigate Employee Risk
All is not lost, there are steps you can take to reduce the cyber risk to your business from your staff. Here are 3 tips that can help.
- Employee awareness training
Employees are your greatest strength; they can also be your biggest weakness when they aren’t trained adequately. Employees who use weak passwords that can be easily guessed, or who don’t know they can inadvertently install ransomware on their computer by clicking on bad links in email can harm your business. By teaching your employees about cyber security and the risks they face using the Internet, you’ll be making them part of the solution.
- Policies and Procedures
Having the right cyber security policies and procedure can go a long way to help minimize the risk from your employees. Companies that take a hands-off approach when it comes to controlling what their employees can and can’t do on the company network can put your business at increased risk. An employee can inadvertently open a big digital door into your network in a myriad of ways: using a weak password that can be easily guessed, clicking on links that install malware or ransomware, storing sensitive/confidential company information in unprotected folders on their personal computers. Policies that implement a “method of least privilege” approach to data management ensures that your staff only get access to the things the absolutely need to have access to and can only do the things you explicitly allow them to do, everything else is denied by default. This will reduce (but not entirely eliminate) the possibility of an employee’s bad behaviour taking down your entire company network, and in an extreme case taking down your company!
- Cyber tools
There are many cyber security tools out there to help you secure your business. At the most basic, you want some type of endpoint protection like anti-malware software. There are tools that can help you reduced spam and phishing emails that will even help guide your employees in making the decision if the email is legitimate or if it’s spam. Multifactor authentication is also a must, as passwords are so easily stolen. If your staff is also working remotely, you also want to consider a VPN or cloud solution where employees can share and store encrypted data. Not having this available will sometimes cause staff to find easy “workarounds” that could put your business at risk.
Employees in an organization can be a risk to your business’s cyber security, but they don’t have to be. By using sound cyber security policies and controls, employee education and providing them with the right tools to do their jobs, employees can become a great cyber security strength. For more tips, please visit the QuickProtect website.