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Security: Auditing and User Training

Given the increasing cases of cyber attacks in recent times, auditing of cyber security procedures and updating of employees’ security awareness are crucial to the survival of your organisation. Regular training and updating of your employees’ knowledge and skills on security threats are essential since most cases of security breaches originate from employees’ mistakes.

According to the IBM X-Force 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index, about 60% of cyber breaches come from “insiders,” with close to 15.5% happening unintentionally. A single click on a bogus email could land your company in great loss if workers don’t know what constitute a risk factor. In another report conducted by PhishMe in 2016, about 91% of cyber-attacks and the resulting data breach start with a spear phishing email, of which the majority are initiated by employees who ignorantly click on emails containing some forms of malware.Hence, conducting frequent training for workers in your organization is no longer an option but a part of the strategies to remain in business. Regular and proper training of your employees can go a long way to help prevent many of these breaches. More also, it is imperative to conduct regular cybersecurity audits to be sure that your data protection procedures are attack-proof.

The majority of larger firms and multi-nationals in the UK already have the basic understanding of some of the reasons why they have to invest in frequent and continuous staff trainings. Such investment is important for them to update their cyber-safety measures. However, most SMEs are yet to comprehend the need for regular and adequate user training sessions on cyber-security issues. This is a disaster in the making!

If you think you have not been doing well enough concerning the auditing of your data protection procedures and training of your staff for cyber-safety, we recommend that you take the following measures to guide your business against unforeseen disasters:

  1. Conduct Regular Self-Audits

One of the sure-fire ways to protect your organisation from security infiltration is to always conduct some self-initiated attack on your security shield. You can designate some of your in-house tech experts (or engage with a third party) to make random attempts to gain access to your systems and data to check out the strength of your systems. Doing this often identifies loopholes in your security procedures. If any shortcomings are found in your security procedures, you can make necessary adjustments to safeguard your firm from external security attacks.

  1. Organise Frequent and Relevant Security Training

With increased cyber-attack, the need for cyber-security training is on the rise. These trainings are not just important;they must be frequent, up-to-dated, and specific to your business requirements. All employees must be trained to understand the needs for hard-to-crack passwords that will guarantee data protection.

  1. Organise Regular Security Briefings

Another effective way to keep your employees updated on security issues is to hold quarterly or bi-annual briefings to discuss new trends in cyber-security. You can even consider organising a quiz with incentives on current security matters in the news. Some of the finds from these engagements can be of immense benefit to your organisation.

  1. Include Cyber-Training in Your Recruitment Process

If you don’t want to compromise your company’s useful information, don’t ever bring in new employees without allowing them to go through the company’s specific cyber-security training. Allowing a new employee to use your technology and network before introducing them to some of your user guidelines will amount to self-inflicting injuries.Always ensure all new employees start off on the right foot by allowing them to go through a mandatory cyber-security training.

  1. Training Must Include Senior Staff Members

Cyber criminals can launch their attacks through anyone, irrespective of their level in the organisation’s hierarchy. Top executives are often popular targets for Cyber-criminals due to the direct access they have to vital business information.All staff regardless of position are a target and a potential threat.  All are candidates for security awareness training.Do not limit your cyber training to junior level employees alone.

  1. Educate Your Staff about Social Engineering.

It is often easy to trick users through social engineering. This usually occurs through the impersonation of someone else to manipulate users into performing actions that will compromise confidential information. This may be done via phone calls or emails (Vishing/Phishing), malicious texts (Smishing), fake surveys, or malicious links on social media sites.Regular training will help to update your staff members on trending malicious social engineering techniques they should know.

  1. Train Specific Employees on Your Disaster Recovery Plan

There is no full-proof strategy against cyber attacks. Hence, the common saying that: “it’s no longer if you’ll get attacked, but when you get attacked.” Thus, you need to have a disaster recovery plan in place to help mitigate any occurrence. You should train your employees on how to recognise an attack, who to notify in case of an attackand other important information like lost or theft of a mobile device. All these precautionary steps will help mitigate incidences of cyber attacks.

  1. Formulate a Standard Security Policy

In order to make the training easy to absorb by all categories of employees, you should have a universal company security policy devoid of unnecessary jargons. Doing this will make staff induction easier, and all stakeholders, ranging from the senior teams to junior staff members,  contractors or third-party users will be able to communicate in understandable in-house security codes and terminologies. Make sure the policy document is easily accessible and regularly updated to be certain all staff members are on the same page when it comes to trending information and expertise on cyber-security.

Conclusion

Never play down on the power of knowledge. The more equipped your employees are in terms of handling risk factors, the more your organisation is likely to drive growth without much hassle. Always start the training from the basics to give a better understanding. You must also take deliberate steps to checkmate your security procedures to be sure of its functionality. Once these measures are taken, your well-intentioned staff will know better than to commit costly mistakes that may put your business at risk.

If you would like further advice or an audit of your current security systems and procedures, get in contact with Allteks and we’d be happy to help your organisation stay protected.

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