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Organization lose approximately $445 billion per year to cybercrime and over 70% of those companies are small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Many SMB leaders don’t realize that having employees trained on the latest cybersecurity threats can help to prevent, detect, or deter cybercrimes.

Who to train and why

Every employee in your organization with access to corporate data and devices needs cybersecurity training. From those on the maintenance team to members of the C-suite. Insider fraud accounts for as much as 47% of all cybercrime losses. Every device needs addressing, too, especially if workers use personal devices for company business. Each device is a potential target for malicious actors.

Two-step training process

The most common SMB cyber threats are social engineering, phishing emails, malware, unpatched devices, and unmanaged mobile devices. Employees who know how to identify those threat traits are more likely to be able to eliminate them before problems arise. Both initial training and ongoing instruction are critical to ensuring employees know the basics — and learn about emerging new threats.

Four fundamental guides

Every employee needs training on these simple procedures, both when starting work and on an ongoing basis:

  1. Establish program prevention rules.
    A clear set of standards about what workers can and can’t install on their work machines can help reduce some risks. Hackers use unfamiliar programs to download viruses, bugs, and malware, so employees should delete anything that looks suspicious in Tweets, online ads, or any other transmissions. High spam standards can also help defend against inadvertent intrusions.
  2. Set sound password standards.
    To limit the extent of a breach, each employee should assign a new and different password to each of her or his accounts. Each password should include a variation of upper- and lowercase letters, numerals, and special characters. In addition, employees should write down and store passwords in safe places away from their devices.
  3. Have a backup plan.
    A regular habit of backing data up can also save the company in the long run in the event of an intrusion or corruption. Either set a corporatewide backup strategy or establish a schedule for each employee to back up her or his work and store the backup files safely in an unconnected server.
  4. Encourage communication.
    Sometimes, the best deterrence is talking about cybersecurity issues around the office. When every employee is invited to share his or her concerns about suspicious activities, all employees understand that company leaders are serious about eliminating cybercrime threats.

The most important aspects of employee training and education are consistency and repetition. Ensuring all employees receive the same directives and training as well as reinforcement on a regular basis helps business leaders maintain a savvy, well-educated, and safe workforce.

Business leaders who invest in cybersecurity training for their staff members can prevent cyberattacks from occurring or reduce damage when they do. If you’re looking for a cybersecurity training partner to help reduce risks in your organization, contact the professionals at Synoptek at 888-796-6783.

About the Author

Synoptek is an established firm that provides information systems consulting and IT management services. Synoptek and its predecessors have been providing these services for 23 years.