One Of A Businesses Biggest Threats Is It’s Employees

You may have the top system security and anti-virus software in place to protect your business from threats. However, one of your biggest cyber security wins could be educating your staff on potential cyber security risks and how to minimise them. Having robust software in place is important, but training your staff is absolutely paramount to keeping your business secure.

Research shows that employees have become the biggest cyber security threat to businesses. If staff are uneducated on the potential risks to your business and the best practice to keep the systems safe, they can become a liability. Therefore it is pivotal that they are provided with the correct information and security advice by their employer.

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Network

Viruses can attack work computers in many different ways. If an employee innocently plugs their USB drive into their work computer, malware that they may have obtained at home can then be transmitted on to their work PC. Many anti-virus programmes contain a USB threat defender, preventing any threats from spreading on to the computer it is plugged in to. However, to be extra safe, some businesses a policy in place to prevent employees using USB sticks at their place of work. As an employer, it is a good idea to have guidelines in place of what employees can and cannot download on PC’s so that your computers can stay clean. This could be included in a company IT policy.

System Security Software

System security software is the obvious important aspect here in keeping your business protected. However, as mentioned it isn’t worth having unless you have trained a member of staff on how to use it and implement it correctly. Security software would ideally be set up by an experienced IT professional using the accurate settings needed to keep your network covered, as requirements are likely to vary from business to business. If you are in need of an anti-virus or system security programme, Sentinel have a range of solutions to fit different needs of each business and Minster have the right people for the job!

Passwords 

Advice  for making your passwords strong changes incessantly so it can be difficult to keep up with what you should be including or using. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) advise that passwords containing a mixture of random words for example ‘1 tree snowing lemons!’ is in fact much more secure than using a mixture of random letters and numbers to create a single word e.g. ‘5ecur3!’. 

Surprisingly, it is not wise to ask your employees to change their password too frequently. Regularly changing passwords is expected to lead to employees creating simpler passwords that they are more likely to remember, putting their PC at high risk. The frequency that your staff should change their passwords is entirely dependent on the nature of the business and the sensitivity of the data that is handled. For example, banks are likely to change their passwords monthly. Whilst most other people change their passwords anywhere between 2 and 6 months, however we would advise there should be an individual company policy on passwords. This should include the change frequency, complexity and length.

Email

Monitoring emails and being vigilant is growing crucial to having a protected network due to the high volumes of fraudulent emails that get sent daily. Just one email could grant cyber criminals access to your important files or sensitive data. If in doubt – don’t open it. Employers should keep on top of the latest Action Fraud news and share it with employees to ensure everyone within the company is aware of current cyber-crime trends and how to avoid them.

For more information on cyber security, please contact sales@minstermicro.co.uk or call us on 01562 68211