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Business Security Starts with End Users

Apr 30 2015

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Every business, regardless of size or industry, is vulnerable to a security breach. While your company must have IT systems in place that help protect your data from hackers, one of the best security measures you can take is to have an educated staff. End user security is a key part of your strategy for preventing a security breach. Below are a few tips for educating your employees and protecting your sensitive data:

Teach them what scam emails and links look like.
Every user in your organization should understand how to spot common themes in scam emails, instant messages, and links on the internet. They should not click on links in emails unless they know the sender. Many websites have malicious links, too. Make sure your employees are visiting trusted sites at work and at home. Establishing a list of untrustworthy sites is also helpful.

Have clear policies on use of workplace technology.
Sure, your users with company mobile devices and laptops carry them all the time, but that doesn’t mean that they should be used as personal devices. The same goes with your in-office employees and their computers and phones. Come up with a clear policy on what is and isn’t okay for internet and personal use on company-owned computers. Have your IT department or provider come up with a policy that works for your company – then enforce it.

Offer your staff basic user education.
It seems like common sense, but many people do not know they shouldn’t leave devices unattended or use the same password for many different accounts. Have a policy accessible to new hires and current employees that lays out a few common sense actions they can take to help protect themselves and your business from a security breach.

Teach your staff about effective passwords.
We know everyone hates having to go through and change all of their passwords periodically, and it can be a pain to come up with and remember a password that is strong every time. As annoying as this can be, using strong passwords and keeping them secure is a no-brainer when it comes to protecting your business. There are plenty of tutorials on formulating passwords, so pass along this information to your employees.

Cultivate an open environment for reporting potential issues.
Everyone is afraid of clicking on a bad link or accidentally downloading a virus, and nobody wants to admit they may have infected the company’s servers. However, your employees will be willing to report accidents and issues at their workstations if your IT staff are understanding and refrain from shaming users. Accidents happen, so if your culture is to handle them with patience and understanding, your users will be open and honest when they see something amiss, allowing you to immediately counteract security threats.

Having policies and strategies in place for protecting your company’s data may seem like a simple task, but it takes a lot of time and proactive effort. If you are unsure whether your current staff or provider have the right measures in place to protect your organization, give us a call. We can help secure your environment before your next security disaster.

James Oberhaus

Written by James Oberhaus