Cyberattacks are an ever-present danger for organizations across the world. Take just a quick glance at recent news stories and you’ll see that attacks are happening all the time.
So it’s not merely likely that an organization will be targeted. It’s inevitable–especially as companies hold larger amounts of potentially lucrative data.
It means that the threats—and the attack surface—are expanding all the time.
So how should organizations protect themselves? That’s a complex question to which, you won’t be surprised to hear, there are no straightforward answers. Effective responses will involve the right combination of technology, people and processes.
But it’s often the people element that can be overlooked. If you look at security breaches over the last several years, it’s obvious that people represent the single most important point of failure in terms of security vulnerabilities.
The problem is that people are a vital part of the security apparatus that an organization builds. And that’s a fact that every organization needs to take to heart.
One of the best ways to get started here and put your best foot forward is to ensure that you get cybersecurity right from an employee’s first day.
Include Cybersecurity Training and Awareness
The first step here–and one that we hope you’re already taking–is a security policy that all new employees sign. This policy should include:
- A security checklist–such as always reporting any stolen devices
- Password rules
- Define sensitive information they may have access to
- Privacy settings on their web browser and social media accounts
Training your team on security awareness is an essential part of a successful security program. And, new employee onboarding is an optimal time to introduce your staff to your security best practices.
Set a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) Contract
If you operate with bring-your-own-device (BYOD), you’ll also need your new employee to review your policies here. If you don’t have one, a BYOD policy can help set a business up for success.
It’s crucial that you establish a BYOD agreement that states work data will remain your property.
Provision the Right User Access
Provisioning primarily occurs at three critical points in an employee’s relationship with the enterprise: when the employee joins, changes jobs, and leaves.
Ensuring that the right people get access to the right business resources at the right time, provisioning is the plumbing that promotes productivity and reduces enterprise risk
IT provisioning processes usually involve tedious administrative tasks, which need to be repeated for every new employee. Because of this, human error often creeps in and important steps are missed out, causing the whole workflow to break down.
A well-run provisioning process takes the manual effort and guesswork out of granting the right access to the right people.
Let Employees Report Problems Easily
Social engineering and phishing tactics tend to take advantage of employees’ lack of knowledge around how company processes and systems work.
Therefore, you should empower your employees to become active players in company security efforts. Wherever possible, remove barriers to reporting suspicious events. Employees should be able to easily report issues, such as suspicious emails.
Additionally, train new employees on helpdesk support processes so they know what to expect. This kind of training can help new team members avoid phishing or social exploit attacks that use helpdesk response tactics.
Getting Off On the Right Foot
Building a security-aware culture needs to be a long-term play but it helps to get things right.
Focus on proactive lessons around common tasks that may be encountered early (password reset, system login and others).
Then repeat training often to help employees learn how to be risk-aware at all times and present varied and engaging lessons for better retention.
This will empower new employees to keep an eye on problems before they arise and make the right choices.