Online security and the constant threat of cyber attacks are rarely out of the headlines these days – indeed, we manage to make up half our blog on the topic! But it’s for good reason. Security is a topmost concern for business, and without it, you are leaving yourself very vulnerable to all manner of attacks.
Since the business world has gone online, the threats are no longer physical like they used to be. We do not any longer lock all of our files and business information away in secured physical vaults, for technology has enabled a much more efficient way of cataloguing our important data. But, with this convenience comes risk.
A battering ram may not be needed to break into secure vaults, nor a cat burglar’s deftness, dexterity and skill with a lock-pick. However, there are digital equivalents to both of these things and much more besides in the dark world of cybercrime, and this really cannot be emphasized enough amongst your employees in the workplace.
Taking Cyber Security Seriously
There’s much to be said about the fact that the average person doesn’t really appreciate the full extent of cyber threats. As with most things, until IT happens to us, then we tend to disregard sometimes very blatant attendant risks in all manner of things that we do – and cyber security is no exception.
Many people will no doubt live their whole lives completely unscathed by the various attacks and scams that plague the internet. They may never have their passwords stolen, their computers hacked, or their online accounts infiltrated. These are very lucky people indeed, because at any time an attack could have been launched and they would have found themselves defenselessly vulnerable, and havoc would have ensued.
Now, it’s not your job to try and ensure that every single one of your employees takes their home and personal cyber safety seriously – but IT is absolutely your job and your duty to see that these people do so whilst they’re in the workplace.
This is no mean feat, for attitudes to cyber security can be worryingly lackadaisical in the average worker. But IT all comes down to education. And so, in order to promote security in the workplace, you must first educate the workforce about it. And below you will find our top tips and suggestions for doing so.
How To Promote Security In The Workforce
- Enforce A Written Set Of Security Guidelines Simply telling your employees to always remain safe and vigilant when they’re online at work isn’t enough. You need to monitor your employees’ behavior and actions online. Write up a clear and concise set of cyber security guidelines that you will expect your whole staff to adhere to. Host a meeting where all of the points and issues raised can be discussed to ensure that everyone understands the gravity of what they are being tasked with. Furthermore, you will have to enforce these guidelines by issuing disciplinary measures to those who do not conform to them. Sometimes this is the only way to make your employees understand that security is not optional, but mandatory.
- Provide Security Training Statistics from UAB Collat School Of Business reveal that only 37% of working professionals have received mobile device security training, whilst only 42% have received information sharing training. This means that well over half of working professionals today are simply unequipped with the information that they need to ensure that their respective businesses are protected from online threats. If you haven’t invested in security training for your staff already, then you need to do so without delay.
- Destroy Old Data Some data may not be needed for business purposes any more, but that’s not to say that it’s no longer sensitive. Old data that is no longer of any use to your business decisions and operations needs to be destroyed in a timely manner in order to protect from any potential leakage that could lead the way to an entry point from a cybercriminal.
- Be Vocal About Security You will never manage to instill a culture of security if you and your managerial team always keep quiet about it. Security should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind with every action that they take, and so you need to make sure that you are always vocal about security. Never let anyone forget about IT – the idea is that security becomes second nature to the workforce. Lead by example.
- Pay Especial Attention To BYOD Policies IT will be unlikely these days that your employees will not be bringing their smartphones to work, and will probably be conducting some of their tasks on these devices as well – even if it’s just sending and receiving emails. This means that IT is imperative that you have a secure and sound BYOD (bring your own device) policy, and again, enforcing IT is even more important than having the policy.
How do you promote data security in the workforce? Let us know in the comments below.
Below is an infographic from UAB Collat School Of Business, which highlights some of the points made in this blog, and is a great reference point when IT comes to educating your employees about the importance of cyber security.