Don’t Wait!

Why you need to train your employees in cybersecurity ASAP

By: John Martinez

Nearly every week, the news announces the latest damage caused by hackers. Nefarious cybercriminals are busy writing code for the sole purpose of stealing sensitive client information and critical financial data. Businesses need to be concerned; however, there are also dangerous factors working inside your organization that assist the cyber thief. The ignorance and negligence of one or more employees can leave the electronic door unlocked and allow a cybercriminal entrance into your most sensitive files.

Explain the impact
It’s important that employees understand the impact a cybercriminal can have on the organization, its clients and its employees. It hurts a business significantly when the news of a cyber theft reaches the general public. Clients and customers want to know their personal data is safe. The personal information of employees is equally vulnerable, and they must understand that. It is not sufficient to write out a cybersecurity policy and have employees read and sign it. Businesses need to have meetings where employees are trained in the policy and their obligations.

Management needs training, too
Although an employee has the expertise and experience to run a department, a branch of your company or the entire overseas division, he or she is still susceptible to cybercrime. Statistics show that top management officials are targeted more often because of their access to sensitive information. Far too often, the IT department will bend the rules for executives. Management is often required to travel, and they may use non-encrypted free Wi-Fi at hotels. The IT department can also be vulnerable if it is lax about keeping tight control of security.

The weakest link
Technology has advanced, but the weakest-link scenario still holds true in today’s world of cyber threats. A company’s infrastructure is only one careless employee away from being vulnerable to the hackers of the world. Engage IT in helping prepare a sophisticated policy covering all possible avenues of attack. Individual compliance is not enough, and employees should be encouraged to watch for any red flags and report them to IT. Let employees know they must report any mistake that could open the company to a vulnerability. People do make mistakes, which emphasizes the importance of ongoing training.

Small businesses without an IT department
Small companies are just as vulnerable to cybercriminals as large corporations. If you don’t have an IT department, contact a security specialist to make a quarterly presentation to your staff. Initial training should include email, Web browsing, mobile devices and social networks. Effective training takes place before a problem occurs, and all employees need to know what to do if they get a suspicious email or believe they have witnessed a cyber incident. Never chastise or ridicule an employee who raises a red flag that turns out to be a false alarm. Thank them for being part of the team.

Don’t wait another day to train your employees in cybersecurity. Hackers work 24 hours a day, and your security policies must do the same.

For more information, visit or call 800-955-2596.


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