Why training should be your first step to cybersecurity

These days, it seems like, if attackers are not after your money, they want your business data—either way, you’re…Well, we all know how it all pans out! Nonetheless, enterprise data security should be just as important to your organization as the safeguards you have in place to protect your money.

Many businesses today are not guarding their data as they are their money, and a major shortcoming that tech-savvy criminals like to exploit is the lack of proper cyber security awareness training. Well, these firms may provide security education or guidelines to everybody in their organization who handles cash or knows where the money is, including cashiers, accountants, and tellers. But are the people who know where the data is receiving adequate system security and user training?

Organizations that don’t usually utilize professional IT support are uniquely susceptible to costly data breaches. When unwitting employees, vendors, or customers have access to company computer networks, they become a primary target for cyber attackers because they not only “know where the data is,” but they also have passwords to files containing invaluable personally identifiable information (PII).

You certainly do well to invest heavily in cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions. However, all that could come to nothing if untrained system users inadvertently helped attackers into your IT system.

Here are some critical cybersecurity training gaps that companies need to close quickly:

1. Employee Negligence

According to Shred-it’s 2018 State of the Industry study, 84% of C-Suites and 51% of SBOs in the U.S. consider staff carelessness as the most significant data security threat. However, most of these employees bear only part of the blame. That’s because the organizations they work for are not providing adequate training on information security protocols. For example, if a company lacks clear procedures for storing, destroying, or disposing of confidential electronic data, its personnel may not always employ cyber security’s best practices when handling such information.

2. Remote Working

Off-site working is another area that exposes company IT systems to a broad array of cyber risks. The threat of data breach is even bigger when employees don’t understand the gravity of logging in to company resources via public computers or personal devices. In this case, cybersecurity education should cover issues such as:

  • Spyware awareness: Hotel, airport, or cyber café computers may be infected with spyware, such as keystroke loggers, which can capture passwords and usernames, stealthily.
  • Company VPN: Show your employees how to use your company’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) when working from home or while traveling. The protocol provides an encrypted tunnel for the secure transmission of sensitive personal information between the office and remote locations.

3. Data Compliance

Businesses in specific industries bear the legal responsibility for protecting the customer data they handle or process. Therefore, it’s in the best interests of these organizations to provide compliance education to minimize risk exposure and to avoid violating the law and facing hefty fines.

It’s not just your employees that need to learn about relevant cybersecurity regulations. The vendors who have access to your customers’ information should also be part of your training program. Some study-worthy data security standards and rules include:

  • HIPAA: Requires entities handling, maintaining, or transmitting electronic protected health information (EPHI), whether on-premise or in the cloud, to secure the data.
  • PCI: Stipulates data security requirements and protocols to govern the receipt, processing, maintaining, and sending of credit card information.
  • GDPR: The General Data Protection Regulation holds companies (including US firms) responsible for protecting any EU citizen’s personal data they’re handling against loss or breach of confidentiality.

4. Security Threats

Information system users should be aware of the cyber threats they face in the workplace every day to stand a chance of thwarting them. As such, security training should cover risks like:

  • Phishing: Users should learn to distinguish between genuine email content and fake website links that invite them to provide user authentication or authorization credentials.
  • Click Bait: These could be anything, from scams disguised as offers from genuine brands to platforms for launching malware attacks.

5. Application Training

User training should also include applications that your organization is using. These could be part of your cyber security awareness training program. Using data sharing platforms like OneDrive, or PBX telephone communication systems, such as 3CX, presents a unique set of security challenges. The people handling these applications should be familiar with the relevant software security standards.

In Conclusion

You can lock the front door, install an alarm system, and get a guard dog.  But if your users leave the door unlocked, put the dog in a locked room, and don’t arm the security system, then you just wasted a lot of money and time. It doesn’t have to be this way for your cybersecurity investment!

Why not enlist one of the most experienced IT companies for help with cybersecurity training? At Kotori Technologies, we provide high-quality cyber security and application training because that’s the first line of defense against hacking and other computer network attacks. Contact us now to learn more!