What’s the weakest link of your office’s security chain?
Look in a mirror.
Yes, the sad truth is that office employees are nearly
almost the easiest ways for hackers to gain access to a system. Fortunately, training your team on internet security best practices doesn’t require a team of IT engineers or special training. For this edition of #officehacks learn about 5 easy-to-follow “hacks” that you can implement to fend off cybercriminals and turn yourself from IT liability to a security Spartan warrior leading a team immune from basic hackers.
1. Implement Security Awareness Tests
If you haven’t heard of security awareness services, this is definitely one you’ll need to try. These services let you send emails to employees that educate them on email security:
- Warning signs to watch for
- How to spot fake attachments
- How to tell spoofed websites from legitimate sources
Here’s how you can put these ideas to work in your internal training protocols. Security awareness services can involve sessions where each employee is sent fake emails, spoofed websites, or attachments with viruses. This gives your team a practical way to identify these tricks, as well as giving you internal data on which employees are most likely to click on suspicious links. This will tell you which employees may need more focused security training.
2. Define Relationships and the Big Picture
Your team may not be technical experts, but you don’t need to be an IT professional to understand the online security landscape. Use the information at your disposal to provide clear definitions for various security concepts: Viruses, malware, spyware, phishing, data mining, and more.
Beyond basic definitions, explore how these dangers factor into technical security. For example, explain that a compromised password isn’t just a matter of personal security—it’s affects the security of the organization as a whole. Clicking an errant link in an email could give a hacker access to the company’s entire customer management system. Work with your IT team and get their input on which topics are most relevant to your office.
3. Password Security
Obviously, password security is a must. But it’s not enough to create unique passwords for each website, and it’s not enough to create passwords with simple character strings with special characters added. Hackers these days have access to numerous brute-force programs that can analyze thousands of combinations of characters in seconds, and simple passwords are easy to crack should your company get targeted.
Instead, work on creating your own personal algorithm when creating passwords. Use specific patterns and routines to create unique passwords for each site, all based around a central theme that only you know. This will make each password hard to guess, but easy to remember. And for added security, instate an office policy of creating new passwords every few months.
4. Always Reboot
It sounds silly, but we’ve all seen it happen: Rebooting has a supernatural ability to fix problems. In fact, you shouldn’t even consider bothering your IT team if you haven’t tried rebooting first—you can bet that’s the first thing they’ll try.
5. Install Every Update
It can get annoying when your computer asks you to update your system every couple days, but don’t ignore these notifications. Updates are how developers upgrade your software and patch known security vulnerabilities. Don’t let your team work without installing every update. They’ll make your operating system run faster and will guarantee that your software doesn’t contain any loopholes for hackers to exploit.
Internet Security Best Practices
Armed with these simple #officehacks, you're ready to turn your office into a virtual wall. And while online security best practices are always evolving, the basics stand the test of time and form the building blocks for all other countermeasures. Keep your systems up-to-date, help your employees and co-workers identify threats, and get a handle on your company passwords. Company security starts with your team—and with you.