No matter what type of business you manage, training employees on data security measures is a critical component for your overall success. One reason for this is that well-trained employees tend to use more caution when working with sensitive data that could put your organization at risk. As a result, you can greatly minimize financial risks and unanticipated costs that can occur with data breaches and other security concerns.
Why Train Employees on Data Security: 3 Reasons
If your business uses a file server to connect your employees, you are one of many organizations that generate an enormous amount of data that could potentially be at risk . Addressing this now could save you a lot of time (and money) down the road.
1. Data Breaches Are Expensive
Every year, data breaches cost companies thousands- even millions- of dollars. Even if you have insurance or a contingency fund to help handle these situations, there are surely better things that you could invest your time and money on.
2. Data Breaches Impact Customers’ Trust
Not only are data breaches expensive and present risks to your company’s overall financial success, they can also impact customers’ trust. When people trust you with their personal information and a breach compromises that data, there is a risk of losing your customers.
3. CyberattacksCan Happen At Any Time
Every 39 seconds on average, a hacker attacks someone’s computer. Even when employees follow data security policies and only visit approved websites while working in the office, cyber attacks can still occur. Since cyberattacks can happen at any time, why put your organization at risk?
Major Cybersecurity Threats
When you train your employees on data security, optimize cybersecurity training with active training activities. One great way to do so is to ensure g that the cybersecurity information you provide is comprehensive. In general, you need to at least educate employees about the following threats.
As malicious software that can harm computer systems, malware can enter a network through employee downloads and phishing attacks. If you notice a suspicious file on one of your devices, scan it with virus protection software before opening it.
Phishing occurs when hackers use false identities to obtain sensitive data such as credit card information, social security numbers and other personal information. One way to prevent these attacks is by looking closely at email addresses and URLs before opening any messages or clicking on links.
Hackers can also encrypt files that contain sensitive information until they receive a certain ransom payment . This is another reason why employees should be mindful about not clicking on links that are unfamiliar to them, or visiting questionable Websites on their work devices.
When cyberattackers manipulate users to obtain sensitive cyber information, this is a form of social engineering. Train employees not to answer questions about the company from someone whom a manager has not authorized to do so. Include information about telephone safety in your training sessions, to reduce the risk of phone-based social engineering attacks, as well.
What Data Security Training Should Include
Data security is about more than just cybersecurity threats. Training should be comprehensive, and if possible, broken down into the three parts that are outlined below. Depending on your industry or your level of employee awareness, you may want to alter the number of training sections. At the very least, you should include these three parts.
General Security Awareness Training
Given the complexity of data security, you should provide a high-level overview of all types of data threats that employees may encounter. This will familiarize employees about basic safety practices that they can build upon in future training sessions.
Password Security and Data Protection Training
Consider how many passwords employees need to use to access their computers, email accounts, payroll sites, financial systems and any other programs they might use on a daily basis to perform their jobs. In a second training module, educate employees about the importance of password and information security. For example, employees should lock screens and never share certain information via messaging applications.
Social Media, Internet and Email Safety Policies
Do you use websites such as Facebook or Twitter to market your business? If so, you also face the risk of social media threats that can compromise sensitive data. Thorough training can reduce this risk, too. Teach employees about social media best practices and incorporate the information into your marketing best practices.
At a minimum, data breaches can cost organizations thousands of dollars. The worst part is that there are many ways that data breaches can occur. Do not let your company face this risk without preparation. Instead, leverage these tips to train your employees on data security today.