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Your employees are your company’s first layer of defense against cyber criminals. Do they know how to help keep your network and data safe?

Your company has firewalls, network security software, and endpoint software. But it’s just not enough. Many attacks target your company’s greatest vulnerability: your employees. Employees are human: they make mistakes. They are fooled by fake identities, vulnerable to criminals’ sneaky tactics, and tempted by clickbait. To fully protect your company against cyber attacks, your employees need cybersecurity training. If you don’t teach them to recognize a security threat, how can they avoid it or report it?

What are the top 4 things employees should know?

First, help employees learn to recognize phishing emails, the major cause of costly data breaches. Phishing scams use a fraudulent email to trick employees into providing usernames, passwords, personal information, or financial information that criminals can use to steal money, access company programs, or compromise business email accounts. Use tools that simulate phishing emails to see if your employees click on the wrong kinds of emails.

Second, use videos to show employees how to recognize questionable emails, social media messages, and invitations that may contain malicious software such as viruses, ransomware, malware, etc.

Third, teaching your employees that passwords are a critical part of defending valuable data from hackers. Show them how to create strong passwords for unlocking each device, logging in, and each work-related application. Passwords should be longer than 7 characters, and incorporate a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

Fourth, teach employees to report all threats, even if they clicked on it or downloaded something they shouldn’t have. For this to work, you have to create a non-blaming atmosphere where employees feel safe asking questions and reporting mistakes. Make cybersecurity a key element of your culture, where employees are part of the team protecting the company’s network and data.

How should training meetings work?

Meet at least quarterly. Invite everyone. Keep sessions to less than an hour, and teach something different each time. Use games and contests to make them fun, interesting, and exciting—and therefore memorable.

NSC Information Technology Group can help you train employees how to distinguish between safe and unsafe links and attachments, browse the internet safely, and use a best-practices approach to password creation. Contact us today for more information.

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