Train Your Employees
Protecting your company online begins with ensuring your employees are prepared to assist in keeping your computers and networks safe. The best security technology in the world can't help you unless employees understand their roles and responsibilities in safeguarding sensitive data and protecting company resources. This will involve putting practices and policies in place that promote security and training employees to be able to identify and avoid risks.
- Keeping a clean machine: Your company should have clear rules for what employees can install and keep on their work computers. Make sure they understand and abide by these rules. Unknown outside programs can open security vulnerabilities in your network.
- Following good password practices: A strong password is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I love country music.”). On many sites, you can even use spaces! Additionally, having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals. At a minimum, they should separate work and personal accounts and make sure that critical accounts have the strongest passwords. Finally, writing down passwords and keeping them in a safe place away from the computer and enabling two-step authentication are other important ways to secure accounts.
- When in doubt, throw it out: Employees should know not to open suspicious links in email, tweets, posts, online ads, messages or attachments – even if they know the source. Employees should also be instructed about your company's spam filters and how to use them to prevent unwanted, harmful email.
- Backing up their work: Whether you set your employees' computers to back up automatically or ask that they do it themselves, employees should be instructed on their role in protecting their work.
Training employees is a critical element of security. They need to understand the value of protecting customer and colleague information and their role in keeping it safe. They also need a basic grounding in other risks and how to make good judgments online.
- Staying watchful and speaking up: Your employees should be encouraged to keep an eye out and say something if they notice strange happenings on their computer.
Most importantly, they need to know the policies and practices you expect them to follow in the workplace regarding Internet safety.