Cybersecurity

How to Get Cybersecurity Through to Your Staff

Getting your staff to care about your organizational network and data security may be more difficult than you might think, but it’s not a lost cause. Today, keeping your business’ organizational security strong relies heavily on your staff’s willingness to follow the right practices, so today we thought we’d give you seven tips to get your people to care about security

Be Up Front

One of the main reasons employees don’t often care about cybersecurity is the overt secrecy surrounding it. Today’s organization needs to come clean when it comes to the constant threats that are out there. If you want your people to have a vested interest in keeping your business’ information systems and data secure, you need to level with them. After all, they can’t help if they don’t understand.

Make it a Personal Investment

Your company holds a lot of your employees personal data. Let them know that along with any sensitive and proprietary data that could be lost in a data breach, that their data could also be vulnerable. In order to sufficiently secure your data and theirs, they need to know what’s at stake if they don’t actively follow cybersecurity procedures.

Top Down Security

Every member of your organization needs to understand that they could be targeted by hackers and fall victim to these threats. The more your employees understand that management is actively complying with security policies, the more willing they will be to alter the way they consider cybersecurity.

Gamify Your Process

People tend to be more engaged when there is incentive baked into a policy. Gamification is the strategy of scoring a person based on their efforts. This strategy works wonders for productivity so it stands to reason that it would work for cybersecurity awareness and following any organizational policy that’s in place to keep your systems and data secure.

Standardize Procedure

One of the most important variables to get your people to follow the rules, is to have them in place to begin with. In cybersecurity, confusion can be a huge albatross, so ensuring that everyone is playing with the same rulebook is a must. This includes building procedures to handle attacks such as phishing as well as password hygiene and many other security-based policies. The more consistent your procedures are, the more likely your staff is to understand and follow them.

Start from Day One

With all the threats that are out there at the moment, you will want to stress the importance of cybersecurity with current and new employees, alike. If you start hammering home the importance of compliance with security procedures from the day an employee starts at your business, the more likely they will continue to comply with them as they undertake their job; which for most of your staff, isn’t strictly cybersecurity.

Keep Training

Employee’s Security training is becoming commonplace at almost every organization, largely because the threats that it faces could have devastating consequences. You will want to invest in comprehensive training and re-training to ensure that your employees understand the importance of your cybersecurity initiatives, and that they are up-to-date on any and all changes to policy or strategy.

 

Cybersecurity is a team effort today and if your organization isn’t stressing the importance of it, it’s only a matter of time until it rears its head. If you would like to learn more about training your employees on the best practices of cybersecurity,  creating a cybersecurity policy that works to keep your information systems secure, or if you would just like to talk to one of our IT professionals about cybersecurity best practices and procedures, give us a call today at 651-234-0895.

Remote Collaboration Demands Additional Security

Workforces have been increasingly distributed and many businesses aim to continue that strategy for the foreseeable future. There are a fair share of challenges that distributed employees have themselves, but for the business, it can be tough getting them to do the things that need to be done to secure the business. Here are a few actions that need to be taken if you want to make that happen.

What Changes When People Work Remotely?

One of the things that workers don’t understand is what exactly changes when they work from home is that it effectively distributes the operational network over a wide array of networks, making it difficult for security teams to provide the comprehensive services that they typically do. This requires the employee him/herself to do most of the diligent work to ensure that their endpoints don’t become problematic for their business. This gets more difficult as the number of new endpoints and those who are new to working remotely increase.

For many businesses, the procedures that dictate a work-from-home policy have been hashed out at some point over the past two years, but it is important to not be complacent when onboarding new workers or dealing with current staff that all have increasing numbers of endpoints in their home.

Do you supply the devices that your employees are working on?

Have you migrated your production to Software-as-a-Service applications?

Do you use any other cloud-hosted environments to make it easier for remote employees to access information?

If not, do you have secure access for remote employees through a VPN or some other remote access service?

Staying up to date and present on these issues will help you do more to protect your network and infrastructure from any threats that could be brought in by unwitting employees.

The Threat of Personal Devices

For many organizations, the thought of purchasing endpoints for every employee now working from home is an impossible ask. Even if it is possible, is it a prudent way to spend capital? Some would argue yes since one of the biggest cybersecurity risks to your company is a personal device that isn’t secured against today’s various threats. This isn’t because your security platforms can’t secure your network, it is because the user may not have up-to-date antivirus software, or their applications aren’t updated properly, or they don’t use password practices that help ward against outside infiltration.

Since the threat of a data breach increases substantially when there are open vulnerabilities, it is prudent to expand your security protocols to ensure that all company-owned information is being saved to company-owned storage solutions; whether that be an onsite server or company-owned cloud platforms. The less company data is found on employees personal devices, the better the chances of protecting it.

Collaboration Challenges

It was so when everyone was working side-by-side, but employees depend on collaboration apps even more today to get projects out the door and keep lines of communication open. Unfortunately, these tools were never designed with security in mind—they are designed with cooperative productivity in mind—so it opens up new problems for people working in these apps if their data isn’t secure in transit; and when it arrives on your employees’ computers.

One solid tip is to ensure that the people that are collaborating on a project or service are the only ones inside a specific group. Since anyone can initiate conversations, it is important that only the people that need to be in on the conversation, data flow, and administration of any project be in the chat. Otherwise, exposing potentially sensitive information to insecure parties is possible. This happens more than you think, especially in enterprise and medium-sized business settings where people are added and removed to mailing lists and collaboration lists all the time.

Finally, you will need to train your people. In the collaboration age, where doing more with less is a business model, you need to ensure that you invest resources in getting the people that work for you the information they need to keep your business’ IT and data secure. They don’t necessarily need to be experts in computer maintenance to do this either. Just teach them the basics—how to spot phishing and other potentially harmful messages and report them to the IT administrator; how to put together a secure password; why your business has the password and security policies it does; what resources are managed by your IT team; and what they need to do to ensure that they aren’t a weak link in your business’ cybersecurity efforts.

A lot of people like the experience of working from home, and for the business (with today’s technology) it can be of great benefit, but in order for it to be a good experience, strategies have to be altered to ensure that you aren’t constantly battling your team and scammers alike. If you would like some advice about how to navigate a remote team, the technology needed to ensure you’re ready and any other IT or workflow related questions, give Point North Networks, Inc., a call today at 651-234-0895.

Phishing Training

Phishing Training is a Critical Component of Any Security Strategy

Phishing attacks are some of the most common threats out there. Hackers will craft messages or web pages designed to harvest information from your employees, be it through suspicious requests for credentials via email or through false websites that look so much like the real thing that it’s no wonder they were tricked. How can you make sure that your employees don’t fall for these dirty tricks? It all starts with comprehensive phishing training.

So, what goes into a successful phishing training program? Let’s take a look.

 

Phishing training involves exposing your team to simulated real-world scenarios in which they might encounter a phishing scam. It’s worth mentioning here that phishing can potentially involve much more than just a simple email containing requests for sensitive information or forms on websites asking for credentials. Phishing can come in the form of phone calls, text messages, and other communication mediums. Therefore, it becomes of critical importance that your staff have the skills needed to identify these phishing scams in whichever form they take.

 

As for what this phishing training might look like, it depends on the context. Training might take a more passive approach with videos, but it also takes on more active approaches with interactive workshops and hands-on training exercises.

 

One of the best ways to get a feel for how well your employees understand phishing attacks is to test them without them knowing it using these simulated attacks to see who takes the bait and who doesn’t. In this way, you can get a sense for how they would react under normal everyday circumstances. This type of threat awareness is important to gauge where your employees are in regards to cybersecurity, and it can give you an idea of which employees need further training.

 

We want to emphasize that phishing training is not about calling employees out on reckless behavior; rather, it’s about corrective practices that can help your business stay as secure as possible long-term. It is better to find out which of your employees struggle with identifying phishing attacks in simulated situations than when the real deal strikes, after all.

 

Look, we all want to trust our employees to do the right thing and know better than to click on suspicious links in emails, but at the end of the day, wanting something and actually getting it are two entirely different things. We need to accept reality and admit that hackers can and will succeed in their phishing attempts if we don’t do anything to prevent them. The best way to keep phishing attacks from becoming a nightmare scenario for your business is to implement comprehensive training practices and consistently reinforce them with your staff.

 

Point North Networks, Inc., can give your employees the training they need to keep from falling victim to phishing attacks. After working with our trusted IT professionals, your employees will know how to identify phishing attacks and how to appropriately respond to them without risking your organization’s security. To learn more about our phishing training and other security services, reach out to us at 651-234-0895.