Have you given your team permission to contact your IT department if they have cybersecurity concerns, or are they left to their own devices? Unfortunately, your team is your weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity, and unless you give them the training and confidence to ask questions, they always will be.
Do you encourage your team to contact your IT department if they have a cybersecurity question or concern? Or do you have an environment where your team is afraid to ask for help? Do you think it is fair to be fired for falling for a phishing… test? Do you support wisdom-sharing between all your team members, or is it split between your IT department and everyone else? If your staff is tiptoeing around issues because they are afraid of costing the company money or getting in trouble, you might be sitting on a powder keg.
Your team can either be your weakest link or strongest ally when it comes to your organization's cybersecurity, but that is entirely up to you. If you want your team to be the first line of defense against a cyberattack, not only do you have to invest resources to train them to be, but most importantly, permit (and encourage) them to be. Here are six cybersecurity symptoms your team should be on the lookout for and let your IT department know about.
Your team will be the first to notice something is amiss with your routine functions. This may include an increase in spam, strange behavior in software, slow or even no web response, or other service disruptions. Give your team the confidence to contact your IT department if they are having issues with what are usually reliable system operations. While it may just be a simple glitch, it’s better to have it looked into before it escalates.
Have you trained your team to recognize suspicious emails, and are they able to identify if an email is a security risk? According to a warning to Healthcare and Public Health Sectors from the Joint Cybersecurity Advisory, recent ransomware and other cyberattacks usually originate from an email containing contaminated attachments or links to compromised websites. As ransomware has become the primary method to threaten businesses currently, it makes good business sense to train your team with email best practices. We can help by simulating phishing attacks to see who falls for them, and help educate your entire staff.
Train your team to be suspicious of emails, phone calls, and other communications asking for information about your team, your process, and security protocols regarding your website, network, hardware, or software.
Phishing and social engineering tactics are designed to gain sensitive information from your team. This information can provide bad actors with the information required to gain access to your network. As phishing is the most common method to deliver a ransomware attack, you must make phishing training a priority.
If you haven’t already, it is time for your organization to take a deeper dive into multi-factor authentication. One of the benefits of multi-factor (MFA) or two-factor authentication (2FA) is that if someone tries to use your credentials to access your system, you will receive an alert, making you aware of the attempt. Instead of your team merely changing their password, encourage them to contact your IT department to let them know of the breach. Usually by the time someone is made aware of something suspicious going on, they aren’t the only compromised account, and by making your IT team aware, you will enable them to determine if this was just a one-off or part of a coordinated attack. The more information your IT department has, the better your cybersecurity protocols will prevent the cyberattack from gaining traction.
If a device is compromised, one of the first things a cybercriminal will attempt to do is spread across the network, or encrypt data and require you to pay a ransom to get it back. Encourage your team to be aware and to make a note of changes to hardware, software, or firmware configurations as they can be signs that your systems are under attack. This is tricky, as most users don’t know what to look for.
It takes a combination of IT staff actively monitoring every device on your network, and your employees being the “eyes and ears” in the seat. If IT is monitoring each system, we’ll usually know if anything major is installed, or if there is unusual activity on the device. We might not see the smaller indicators though—web browsers acting strange, influxes of spam, and changes that an end user might make on their own.
Do you keep track of your vendors’, customers’, and team members’ access? Do you have a process in place to remove their access to your systems once they are no longer part of your business? Have you employed best practices in regards to granting permissions? Have you developed a plan to decide which ‘bucket’ to place your team, clients, and vendors in when it comes to determining how much access to grant them?
When it comes to deciding which “bucket” to use, properly assigning access control measures doesn’t have to be difficult. One thing to consider is that if a vendor becomes a victim of a data breach, a cybercriminal can use your vendor’s credentials to gain access to your system. This is why you must ensure you consider the level of access you grant all parties to your systems. Additionally, you need to keep your essential information segregated from the data you grant the public access to and add extra layers of security to your vital systems.
As Rapid City’s premier managed service provider, we understand that no business is exempt from a cyberattack. We also know that your team is your first line of defense regarding cybersecurity, but only if they are given the tools and permission to communicate their concerns and observations.
Cybercriminals are constantly evolving their tactics, and unfortunately, the basic combination of antivirus and a firewall alone may no longer be sufficient to protect your data. KT Connections understands that your team is your greatest asset and provides the training and technology required to help support them and your business in developing the cybersecurity plan that’s right for your business.
For help with your cybersecurity plans, KT Connections is here for you. Reach out to us to discuss how your cybersecurity should take shape by calling 888-891-4201 or visiting our cybersecurity page for more information.