Even if you have every single security measure in place, your employees can leave your organization vulnerable, whether they realize it or not. The strongest backup disaster recovery devices, antivirus software, and firewalls will not do anything if an employee falls for a phishing attack or another scam. You can minimize the risk associated with this weak link in your security with a few simple steps.
- Make a Strict Password Policy and Stick to It
Start by creating a strict password policy that you will actually enforce. Ensure that passwords are replaced regularly, randomly generated, and complex. You can use services such as How Secure Is My Password? to test their strength. (This particular service is completely safe with sponsorship from a password protection platform. Using the system will let you know how long a hacker needs to decode a particular password. Always use caution when trying a different service.)
As you create your password policy, remember that dictionary attacks are the most prevalent. This type of attack takes advantage of the fact that most people use a real word for a password, so hackers try every word before they go with a brute force attack. Put this knowledge to good use by ensuring your password policy includes a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols. Remember that longer passwords are more secure. Finally, ensure that you never repeat a password, even if it seems impossible to remember them across platforms. If you repeat a password, a breach on one account gives hackers access to the others.
- Test and Train Employees
On a regular basis, take the time to teach your employees how they can recognize phishing attacks. Then complete penetration testing, which is a safe, fake phishing attack that your IT company completes to check employee responses. Employees who fail should go through training again. We suggest taking this step every quarter, so you can deliver up-to-date information.
- Make a Policy for Bringing Your Own Device, Including Mobile Phones
Most companies let employees bring their own devices if they want, but this can leave you open to security risks without precautions. If your employees can access the network on any of their devices, it should meet the same high security standards as your organization’s computers. Make a policy regarding whether employees can respond to emails on their smartphones or remotely access the network.
- Update the Software Regularly
Always take the time to ensure that your software is up to date. This is the only way to confirm it has the most recent security patches. If you put off an update, you are vulnerable to whatever bug the most recent security patches fixed, a risk that is completely unnecessary.
- Make an Investment in Security
Do not cut costs when it comes to security. As an organization or business, you cannot rely on software for homes. At the minimum, get a quality backup device and firewall. You need to also invest in related elements, such as employee training, maintaining your full breach or crisis plan, and ongoing security updates.
Security threats will not go away, and neither will employees. If you take the right steps, your company is unlikely to fall victim to these threats due to employee carelessness.