Importance of Employee Training to Keep Your Business Secure

As more companies move to the cloud, employee security and cloud security become more deeply intertwined. You need to implement software and hardware security as well as train employees in better security measures.
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Importance of Employee Training to Keep Your Business Secure

As more companies move to the cloud, employee security and cloud security become more deeply intertwined. You need to implement software and hardware security as well as train employees in better security measures.

Training cannot be a once-off undertaking and needs to integrate with business as usual. You need a training program that each employee or contract can complete on their own schedule, by themselves. This means creating an online training program that each individual completes receiving a certificate of training. Since threats change, you also need to update this course annually and require re-certification. This method ensures that your business remains safe while the quizzes at the end of each training module ensure that your employees pay attention and learn the material.

Topics to Cover in the Security Training

Today’s computer and data threats have grown much larger than simple malware or Trojans. While you should also implement regular sweeps of your network to ensure that no malicious or inappropriate software or files exist, you also need your employees to understand the importance of vigilance to make smart choices. This includes banning activities such as social media and gaming on work computers.

So, in addition to your security precautions and workplace rules, what should your training course cover?

  1. Employee responsibility for business data, especially customer personal information. Many regulatory obligations and legal requirements to protect customer and vendor data exist and employees need to respect and uphold those.
  2. Business procedures involving document management and data incidents. Each employee should conform to immediate reporting procedures for computer virus infections, suspected use of key loggers, abnormal computer operations such as desktop configuration changes, and unexplained errors as well as slow-running systems. They need to recognize the difference between an actual warning alert or message and spoofed ones.
  3. Establish rules for password creation using system requirements so no individual can flout the rules. Each password should contain at least one capital letter, one lower case letter, one numeral, and one special character. This makes them tough to guess or hack, but easy for the employee to remember. Requiring a password change every six months keeps your business’s data safer.
  4. Block employees from installing unauthorized software on work computers. You cannot control what programs an independent contractor uses, but you can limit what they install to the computers at your office if they need to use those systems to complete work for you. Only your IT staff should install software to the computer systems to ensure that each computer only houses the approved programs. This also makes it easier to complete team projects since every team member uses the same tools.
  5. Train employees in safer Internet use. They need to recognize a suspicious URL, email, website, or social media account when they see it and immediately report it. Train employees to report fake social media accounts to the host site. For example, to report a fake LinkedIn account using the CEO’s name to both LinkedIn and the IT or security division of their own firm.
  6. Teach responsible email rules that respect common sense. They should only open or respond to emails from individuals they know, from whom they have accepted email previously, and is an email they expected. It should not contain odd spellings or characters or unexpected URLs, memes, or attachments such as photos or videos. Every email should pass the business’s anti-virus software.
  7. Your training modules should teach how to recognize social engineering, phishing, catfishing, fraud, and risky web-browsing. Since new ways to do this pop up regularly, this will be one of the most often updated areas in your training program.
  8. Train your employees in safer social media communication and use. Do not allow employees to use work computers to post to or check personal social media. Have them use their own smartphone and data plans and only on their breaks. Your social media management staff should receive a higher level of training in this area and understand the proper use of company accounts.
  9. Business issued mobile devices should only get used for business. Have employees use their personal devices for personal use. Mobile devices should also only include the software or apps used by the company and approved by the IT division.

By training your employees to use computers and the Internet with savvy, you better protect your business. They benefit as well since the training protects them while they use their personal devices, too.