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04.26.2017 | Staff Contributor

Cybersecurity and the importance of employee training & appreciation — 

Gartner (@Gartner_inc) defines cybersecurity as “a broad range of practices & concepts designed to protect the data & technology operations of your business.” As criminals continue to target the user over the network, social engineering is the tool of preference, and never before has Gartner’s comprehensive approach been more important.
While a greater awareness has become more commonplace, it is critical to schedule assessments & penetration tests. However, the principals and concepts of cybersecurity must be established within your organization if you are to truly protect your business. You’re as strong as your weakest link. Fail to integrate security holistically, and you might as well scrap that latest cyber tool.

For all the businesses we’ve spoken to, team training & employee appreciation is the most-often overlooked part of any security plan. Therefore, here are our Top Three strategies you can implement today to harden your most valued asset, your team!

1) Employee appreciation! According to Fortune Magazine, one in five employees would sell their user credentials (that’s user I.D. and password) for less than $1,000. (About half those folks would do it for less than a hundred!) Still think an hour for lunch is too long? Employees that feel appreciated are more likely to be loyal, and these days employee loyalty is even more critical than customer loyalty.

2) Employee training. When a public school district in Denver was hacked to the tune of $40,000 in payroll deposits, the department’s spokesman, responded by saying “We do what we can to educate our employees on phishing…” even though at least 30 of their employees responded to a spammer requesting usernames and passwords. We don’t mean to be off-base, but we would really like to see these “user education” sessions.

3) Set a Google News Alert for “Cybersecurity”. Criminals become more creative each day. There’s currently a scam that uses out-of-office emails and social media posts to pinpoint executives traveling? The bad actor will then follow up with office staff and attempt to defraud the company based on that information? The internet is ripe with these stories, and while that information won’t keep you ahead of the game, at least you can keep pace.

Gartner’s “broad range of practices” definition shines a light on the idea that companies could be in compliance from a procedural perspective, but completely dropping the ball conceptually. The weak link in any organization shouldn’t be the people. A staff that is appreciated (and appreciative!), educated and protected should be of paramount importance to all corporate leaders and decision makers.

We’re curious to know what you’re doing or if you plan to implement any of our suggestions. Please drop a comment on one of our social media pages, or send us an email.

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