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What are the 5 Cybersecurity Tips Your Staff Needs To Know?

What are the 5 Cybersecurity Tips Your Staff Needs To Know?

When it comes to cybersecurity, your team is your first line of defense. They are on the front lines protecting your data, and if a cybercriminal can get past them, very little will stop them from gaining access to your data.  

Your company may have comprehensive cybersecurity technologies in place, but your efforts will fail unless your team is in the know. Never forget, it only takes one team member to click on a link, reuse an old password, or lose a device to lead to a data breach. Here are five best practices your team should utilize as part of your cybersecurity operations.

1. Password Management

  • Use a passphrase or complex passwords, to secure your online accounts. A passphrase is made up from a combination of words typed similarly to a sentence and easy to remember if you make it personal. Complex passwords use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters (symbols).
  • Check for account breaches, at least every 30 days but no longer than 90 days. A best practice is to use a process to ensure accounts have not been involved in a breach and if so, change account credentials immediately. HaveIBeenPwned is a free service and doing so will reduce the chances of a cybercriminal using compromised credentials to gain access to your accounts.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to add an extra layer of security. 2FA works by requiring a physical device, such as a smartphone, to be part of the authentication process. For example, when you log into your account, your phone receives an SMS with the code needed to access your account. 2FA is useful because if a cybercriminal does gain access to your credentials, they still need your phone to provide the required code. Moreover, if a bad actor attempts to gain access, you will be alerted to the potential breach, providing you with opportunities to change your credentials and inform your IT team.
  • Enforce password safety: Very simple: Don’t write passwords down, never use the same passwords for different accounts, never use the same passwords for work and personal accounts, and don’t give your password to anyone.
  • Invest in a password management tool. We get it. Managing your passwords can be difficult, particularly if you’re trying to follow best practices. Good news; there are many tools, software solutions, and utilities available to make this simpler like LastPass, Dashlane, Bitwarden, and 1Password. Your favorite web browser also includes password management such as Chrome’s password manager that makes password security a breeze.

    What’s great about a password manager is that it allows you to create the type of password which is best for your business and will automatically generate and remember them for your team. The more comfortable you make processes, the more likely your team will adhere to them and become an asset for your security solution and not a hindrance.

2. Email Security

Despite what is displayed in popular media, most breaches aren’t due to someone in a hoodie breaking into your network. More often than not, a successful breach will be due to the cybercriminal gaining access to a team member’s credentials using phishing. Phishing uses email, links, or attachments to trick your team into either sharing their username/password or allowing a bad actor to access the system. 

Could you identify a social engineering attack? Phishing is difficult to prevent because it uses social engineering tactics to lull your team members into breaking cybersecurity protocols. Successful phishing attempts are usually so because they can mimic the look and feel of an email your team would expect to receive. 

As we noted, ransomware attacks are increasing, and because they use a phishing attack to gain access to businesses, phishing training has to be a priority. This is why it is critical to train your employees to recognize suspicious emails and, at the bare minimum, not to open or click on anything they don’t recognize.

3. Shadow IT

Shadow IT/IoT occurs when a member of your organization brings a device or installs unauthorized software and connects it to the network without telling your IT department, allowing it to lie in the shadow of your security protocols. Unfortunately, such connections aren’t using best practices, exposing your network to the risk of intrusion by bad actors. What’s worse, since your IT department isn’t aware of the connections, they cannot defend against an attack until it is too late. Please take a moment to learn how to fight back shadow IT.

 4. Back Up Your Data

The most important practice you can do for your team, and your business in case of a cyberattack, is to ensure your data is regularly backed up. It is essential that you have a data  backup and disaster recovery plan in place. Like any disaster that may threaten your business, your backup will provide you with the insurance needed to weather the storm. An appropriate way to think about your backup and disaster recovery plan (BDR) is that it is more than just insurance for your data, it’s insurance for your business’ future.

When considering a BDR plan, made sure you receive at least following benefits:

  • A customized backup solution, designed for your unique business environment
  • It follows the 3-2-1 method: stores your data on multiple media and offsite, ensuring that it is
    redundant, secure and most importantly, retrievable.
  • Provides you with easy access to your data, allowing your business to quickly get up and running.

5. Give Them Permission to Ask for Help

Finally, the best practice you can do for your team regarding cybersecurity is to encourage them to contact your IT team. Cybercriminals thrive on people hiding mistakes because they aren’t comfortable asking for help. This translates to a team member opening a suspicious attachment, and instead of informing someone, they hide the issue hoping that it was harmless. 

Unfortunately, if it wasn’t, the virus may have had enough time to embed itself into your systems, requiring extraordinary efforts to remove it. Ensure your team knows they can and should ask for help before they download a file, click on a link, or open an attachment if they are not sure of its nature. 

South Dakota Businesses Need Cybersecurity Support Too

Just as your team needs cybersecurity support, so does your business. Your team is only part of the bigger picture, and unless your company embraces the need and seriousness of cybersecurity, neither will your team. As a Rapid City business ourselves, we are familiar with the cybersecurity threats facing area businesses like yours and have the expertise to help you develop the cybersecurity plan right for your business.  

KT Connections is a premier South Dakota resource for cybersecurity best practices. Our vast array of services include 24/7 monitoring and maintenance, which takes day-to-day maintenance responsibilities off your plate, freeing up time and resources, allowing you to focus on your business. We also offer comprehensive cybersecurity solutions providing your business with access to our wide range of enterprise-level security services which you can personalize to suit your unique needs.

Call KT Connections today at 888-891-4201, schedule an appointment, and begin the process of preparing your team and your business to face a cyberattack when it comes.

Join us for our Cybersecurity Webinar on: Feb 18, 2021 10:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada). Register here: https://ktconnections.com/cybersecurity-webinar

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