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13 Oct 2017

How to instill a good cybersecurity culture within the workplace

Cyber attacks are on the rise with small businesses standing at the forefront. According to Symantec’s 2016 Internet Security Threat Report, 1 in 40 small businesses are at risk of being the victim of cybercrime.

Cybercriminals have a number of motives in attacking your system. Whether it be infecting you with viruses to prevent your company from operating, stealing company data, or gaining access to your financial accounts, all businesses require a strong, cybersecurity culture to help prevent this.

In a small business, employees are the number 1 target, and hackers are becoming more intelligent in approaching employees. It’s known that employees have been identified as the biggest vulnerability, with most incidents being done on the inside.

That’s not to say all jobs are deliberate, often, employees don’t understand the security risks. Simple employee negligence could be using an easy to guess password or opening an infected attachment.

As technology evolves, cybercriminals do too, and that can be a great risk. It’s important that a strong cybersecurity culture is ongoing within the workplace, and we’ve created a few tips to get you started.

Vision

Every company needs a vision of where they want their security standards to be. Do you want documents securely locked away on an evening? Is it safe for employees to use their phones at their desk? Do all employees understand the risk bad cybersecurity practices can impose on not only the business but also themselves? Do they understand security basics?

This will inevitably change for every business depending on what is important to the company.

Lead by example

It’s important for all divisions to breed the same message, and vital for the board, managers, executives to be visible in practising a strong cybersecurity culture, a simple action could be locking your machine when leaving your desk at all times.

Team managers need be consistent in following up with staff who have not followed the expected guidelines, and also employees need to be aware of the repercussions and punishments they will receive if they are found not to be following process.

Training

Every employee needs to be trained on the security procedures within the workplace, and be aware of potential threats to be alert for, such as malicious emails containing attachments and links.

Recent studies suggest it’s becoming harder to determine if an email is harmful due to hackers using fake email subjects. It’s vital employees understand the importance of keeping their data safe not only whilst at work but personally too.

Two-factor authentication is a great tool to use both for business and personal accounts to keep yourself protected. Employee training procedures should regularly be updated, and employees refreshed regularly.

Value your employees

Create a positive working environment. Positive reinforcement can play a huge part in how employees respond.

By influencing and showing them respect it’s more likely that you and your company will receive the same in return, it’s also less likely for a happy employee to go against security procedures.

Evolve

As technology evolves, ensure your business does too. Make sure your business has appropriate monitoring and filtering tools in place, and that any security software is always updated to the latest version.

By not investing in good cybersecurity practices, you are opening your business up to huge risks and possible failure. 2016 saw half of UK firms hit by a cyber attack, costing a total of £30bn.

For more information on how you can keep your business secure, contact one of our specialists today.

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