employee risk in cybersecurity

Employee Risk in Cybersecurity: Protect Your Business

Most business owners know they need to be protected from outside threats, but did you know your employees could also be a threat? So how are your employees a risk to your cybersecurity? Is there anything you can do to mitigate that risk? Continue reading to learn more about employee risk in cybersecurity for your business.

Risks Facing Employees

Your employees face a number of risks when using the Internet:  

  • Phishing attempts to steal their corporate or personal logins, 
  • Malicious links in emails that install bad software, especially ransomware that can infect not just their computers, but also every other computer connected to the corporate network.  

While there is a risk when employees use the internet, it is important that the internet be available so that they can do the jobs they were hired for. Even with all the cyber threats out there, there are ways to reduce your employees’ risk while using the internet.

How to Mitigate Employee Risk in Cybersecurity

All is not lost, there are steps you can take to reduce the cyber risk to your business from your staff.  Here are 3 tips that can help.

1. Employee Awareness Training

Employees are your greatest strength; they can also be your biggest weakness when they aren’t trained adequately. Your business could be harmed when employees use weak passwords that can be easily guessed. Further, even employees who click on bad links don’t know they can inadvertently install ransomware on their computer in email. Instead, make your employees part of your solution by teaching them about cybersecurity risks and best practices.

2. Policies and Procedures

Having the right cyber security policies and procedures can go a long way to help minimize the risk from your employees. Moreover, companies that take a hands-off approach when it comes to controlling their employees’ actions on the company network can be even riskier. 

An employee can inadvertently open a big digital door into your network in a myriad of ways: 

  • Using a weak password that can be easily guessed, 
  • Clicking on links that install malware or ransomware, 
  • Storing sensitive/confidential company information in unprotected folders on their personal computers. 

Policies that implement a “method of least privilege” approach to data management ensure that your staff only get access to what they absolutely need. Further, your team can only do the things you explicitly allow them to do, everything else is denied by default. This will reduce the possibility of an employee’s bad behaviour taking down your entire company network, let alone your company! 

3. Cyber Tools

There are many cybersecurity tools out there to help you secure your business and mitigate employee risk in cybersecurity. At the most basic, you want some type of endpoint protection like anti-malware software.

In short, there are tools that can help you reduced spam and phishing emails. Also, these tools will even help guide your employees in making the decision if the email is legitimate or if it’s spam.

Further, multifactor authentication is also a must, as passwords are so easily stolen.

If your staff is also working remotely, you also want to consider a VPN or cloud solution where employees can share and store encrypted data. Plus, not having this available will sometimes cause staff to find easy “workarounds” that could put your business at risk.

Employees in an organization can be a risk to your business’s cyber security, but they don’t have to be. So, by using sound cyber security policies and controls, employee education and providing them with the right tools to do their jobs, employees can become a great cyber security strength. For more tips, please visit the QuickProtect website. 

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