Many of us have made the move to digital workplaces. We hold meetings, send messages, collaborate and share data on digital platforms from multiple locations. While all of this has made our work lives easier, it has also generated new vulnerabilities for threat actors to exploit and increased the chances of human error when sharing data.
So, your business needs a robust cyber security education plan that targets your team’s knowledge gaps and your business’ vulnerabilities.
This blog defines eight areas your cyber security education, and awareness plans should cover. By focusing on these areas and equipping your team with the right knowledge, you can foster a safer, more secure digital workplace. Here are our ‘Essential 8’:
1. Security 101 training
Providing robust training programs to your team is essential to equip them with the knowledge to navigate potential cyber threats. This includes a comprehensive baseline understanding of malware, viruses, and ransomware – including the various types and their characteristics. By prioritising education in your cyber security plan, your business can significantly strengthen defences, safeguard digital assets, and cultivate a culture of security awareness. With this knowledge, your team becomes the first line of defence, protecting the integrity and resilience of your organisation.
2. Password management
Strong, unique passwords reduce the chances of many accounts becoming compromised when a threat actor gains access to one account. But your team don’t have the time to create these passwords, not to mention the difficulties of remembering them. Password management tools can significantly simplify this task. They generate complex, unique passwords for your online accounts and store them securely, ensuring that your team don’t need to memorise each one. Educating your team on the importance of strong passwords and storage of these not only improves your business security but the security of their personal lives.
3. Data privacy policies
Ensuring data remains confidential and secure is paramount. So, your cyber security plan needs robust data management policies. These involve careful control over who has access to data, secure storage solutions, and stringent protocols to prevent unauthorised access. Importantly, your team need to understand them and how they apply. Unauthorised access can lead to data loss, alteration, or theft, which can have severe consequences, including reputational damage, regulatory penalties, and loss of customer trust. By diligently exercising good data management, your business can mitigate these risks and maintain customer and employee privacy.
4. Securing remote working
When remote working, people often rely on their home networks and personal devices, which may lack the robust security measures in traditional office setups. Securing home networks and devices is crucial to your cyber security plan. You can achieve this by ensuring Wi-Fi networks are private and secured with strong passwords and implementing endpoint protection. Additionally, VPNs add a further layer of protection when accessing resources remotely. By implementing these measures, remote workers can create a safer digital workspace, playing an active role in the organisation’s cyber security. Do your team really understand the risks associated with connecting to public Wifi?
5. Preventing phishing
Combatting phishing demands a dual approach leveraging employee awareness and technology. Empowering your team with the knowledge to recognise suspicious emails or messages is a crucial first step in prevention. Simultaneously, using spam filters helps to block potential phishing attempts from reaching employees in the first place, offering an additional layer of protection.
6. Protecting and handling data
Your cyber security plan must include guidelines for protecting and handling data. Data protection refers to the practices and safeguards to secure data from compromise, while data handling involves the responsible management and governance of data throughout its lifecycle. Both aspects are crucial in maintaining privacy, preventing unauthorised access, and ensuring regulatory compliance. It’s equally important to educate your team about these principles. People should be aware of best practices such as being careful about who they share data with, using secure channels for sending data and understanding your company’s retention and deletion policies.
7. Responsibly using social media
Social media, while a valuable tool for communication and engagement, can also be exploited as a mechanism for social engineering, posing a significant risk to your team and business. Cyber criminals often use social media to gather personal information for identity theft or targeted attacks. So, your team must remain vigilant about social media use. They should be cautious about the details they share, use privacy settings, and exercise diligence before clicking on links or sharing content at work.
8. Safe web browsing
Equipping your team with the right training and tools for browsing the web safely is crucial to your cyber security plan. Your team should exercise caution about the websites they visit and the information they share online. They should also be well-versed in identifying secure websites. Tools such as VPNs, antivirus software, and browser extensions that identify and block unsafe websites can further enhance web safety. By instilling these safe browsing practices and providing the necessary tools, you can enable your team to navigate the web securely.
Incorporating these eight practices into your cyber security education plans is essential. By prioritising these steps, your business can significantly enhance its overall security posture. These practices also empower your team to become active participants in protecting the organisation, and promoting a culture of security awareness. Additionally, by implementing these measures, your business can mitigate the risks of cyber threats, protect sensitive information, preserve customer trust, and boost resilience against potential threats.
Solidify your cyber security plan with Layer 8
Our Cyber Escape Rooms are a tried and true method of ensuring your team gains and retains valuable cyber security and awareness knowledge. Whether working remotely or finding a cause to get the team back together, we can tailor a physical or virtual Cyber Escape Room to suit your group. You can book a preview session to learn more about the fun and engaging experience.