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How to Raise Awareness of Cybercrime in Your Workplace
In February 2019, the Canadian Centre of Cyber Security claimed most Canadianswould be affected by cybercrime in one form or another.
This is unnerving for a number of reasons.
First:it applies to all Canadians, not just business-owners. That means everyone using a computer, smartphone or tablet for any online activity could be at risk.
Second:many people (sadly) lack the awareness to take proper security measures and protect their sensitive data from criminals.
Third:the Canadian Centre of Cyber Security specified how ransomware attacks are one of the most common cyber-threats. And anyone who knows anything about ransomware will recognize why this is such a frightening prospect.
Ransomware attacks may be triggered by opening an infected link in an email or downloading an attachment. Hackers hold your computer or entire system hostage until you either pay the money demanded or find another solution.
This is terrifying enough if your home computer is affected. But in the workplace, ransomware has the potential to wreak havoc on your business — and bring it screeching to a halt.
That’s why every employee should be empowered with the knowledge and tools to stay safe. Especially when more than one-fifth of Canadian companieshave been targeted by cybercriminals.
What can you do to raise awareness of cybercrime in your workplace?
Staying Vigilant Against Cybersecurity Threats
One of the first steps is encouraging staff to be vigilant.
An uninformed, unprepared team can introduce an infection into your system without realizing until it’s too late. And even then, the individual responsible may still not understand what they did wrong.
But a well-informed, well-prepared workforce will find recognizing potential threats far easier.
A key component of this is motivating staff to report any and all suspicious activity, no matter how unnecessary it may seem. Risks should be addressed quickly to ensure no concerns are raised in vain.
Employees must undergo effective education to minimize their chances of bringing harmful infections into your system. Working with cybersecurity experts and organizing training sessions will help.
Emphasize the Impact Cybersecurity Breaches Make
A cybersecurity attack in the workplace doesn’t just affect the employee responsible.
It affects their colleagues. It affects your clients. It affects your reputation. Prospective new customers may fear for their own data’s security when they learn your company was targeted.
This is why it’s so vital to show employees the impact cybercrimes can have. They need to understand they’re part of a group and one mistake could mean serious problems for everyone involved.
This is easier if your company culture already leans towards collaboration and teamwork. Otherwise, you may need to incorporate more elements of this into everyday processes. Encourage staff to consider themselves one cog in a machine.
Highlight Common Cybersecurity Threats
You can increase awareness of cybercrimes in your business by drawing employees’ attention to the most common risks.
Provide them with accessible (read: not packed with jargon or technical terms they don’t need to know) resources on:
These are just some of the most common types of cyber-attacks. Help your team understand:
You may want to bring an expert in to discuss this with employees or compile your own knowledge bank. A combination of both may even be the right choice for you.
But whichever option you settle on, your workforce will be more aware of cybercrimes and know how they can reduce your business’s risk.
Cultivate a Security-focused Culture
We touched on company culture briefly earlier, but now let’s delve a little deeper.
Adopting a security-focused culture may reinforce your business against cybercrimes. At the very least, employees are less likely to make common mistakes that cost money down the line.
Introduce checks on employee computers to ensure all their security software is up to date across the board. Make sure any tools they download, and use are clean too.
And don’t forget about passwords. You may want to introduce a password policy that stipulates employees change theirs every two weeks or every month.
This can make a positive difference, but only if they know how to choose strong passwords in the first place.
What does this mean? Good passwords include a mix of numbers, letters, and symbols. Workers should never use the same passwords across different accounts or platforms, especially if they’re easy to guess.
That’s why just using your child’s, pet’s or partner’s name is a no-no. This information may be easy to find online — and hackers could cause a data breach without much effort at all.
Making your team more aware of general security in the workplace can feed into their drive to take effective precautions. Welcome their input too.
What do they think can be done to increase their knowledge of cybersecurity? How would they like to see more changes introduced? Don’t be afraid to take their best ideas on board.
Create a Clear Incident Response Plan
If the worst happens and your business is struck by a cyber-attack, who does what?
Your employees must know what steps to take in the event of an incident. Perhaps they need to call a local expert in to help immediately. Maybe they’re required to inform clients about the potential data breach.
Whatever their role, employees should know what is expected of them. Everyone should be able to work together as a team and minimize the damage as best they can. This could make a big difference to your business’s future.
Want to find out how secure your business is against cybercrimes? Curious how cybersecurity professionals can help you stay safe online?
Justget in touchwith our experts today and we will be happy to help.
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Steve E. Driz, I.S.P., ITCP