If cybercriminals are able to infiltrate your small business, the consequences can be dire. Sensitive data pertaining to your staff, clients and financial resources should never be allowed to fall into the wrong hands. Since your clients and employees took a leap by trusting you with this information, you’d be wise to reward their faith in you by upholding solid cyber security practices. When working to protect your data from cybercriminals, fostering a culture of security within your enterprise is an absolute must. Small business owners looking for ways to equip their employees with the right security tools should put the following pointers to good use.
Educate Your Team
You can’t hope to maintain a culture of security without a well-informed team. With this in mind, make a point of thoroughly educating your team on the most prominent cyber threats facing your business, smart password practices, potential vulnerabilities and any security programs your company currently utilizes. For example, if you’ve invested in a comprehensive hybrid cloud security system, your entire workforce should understand the ins and outs of how it functions, as well as the various purposes it serves. The more educated your workforce is, the less likely slipups are to occur.
Enforce Password Sharing Rules
If dedicated cybercriminals are able to find their on to your office network, they can do quite a bit of damage in a relatively short span of time. While hackers and data thieves have a variety of avenues through which to infiltrate networks, they’re constantly on the hunt for passwords – and one slipup is all it takes for a vitally important password to fall into the wrong hands. For this reason, it’s imperative that your entire team is on the same page with regard to password sharing. First off, passwords should never be shared with third parties. Even if an employee’s guest just wants to log on to the office Wi-Fi, your approval should be required. As an added precaution, important passwords should be changed on a regular basis.
Make Sure Operating Systems and Antivirus Software are Updated
In addition to outfitting each of your office computers with reliable antivirus software, you should require every employee to install updates for this software as they become available. In order to best combat cyber threats, many antivirus programs need to be updated on a near-daily basis. Team members should also be expected to install operating systems ASAP. Since many of these updates include antivirus components, your crew can’t afford to sleep on them.
Encourage Employee Input
When running a business, it’s important to make every member of your team feel valued. When workers feel like their voices matter, they’re more likely to remain loyal to your enterprise and put forth their best efforts on the job. Employee input should be actively encouraged in a variety of areas – and cyber security is no exception. If a team member is unclear on a certain policy, feels that a policy isn’t practical or wants to propose an addendum to a policy, they should be welcomed to do so. Not only will being open to employee input make your team feel valued and keep them motivated, it also stands to make your cyber security apparatus even stronger.
Put Your Foot Down
You’d be hard-pressed to find a small business owner who enjoys acting as a disciplinarian. However, in the absence of actionable consequences, some employees will simply walk all over you. So if any of your team members have repeatedly failed to follow established cyber security guidelines, reprimanding them may be the only effective course of action. This isn’t to say you should fire anyone, but putting your foot down can be a great way to emphasize just how important cyber security is to your enterprise.
A business is only as strong as its weakest team member. Taking that to heart, no small business can afford to treat cyber security education as an afterthought. If even one employee isn’t fully onboard with your enterprise’s digital safety policies, holes in your cyber security apparatus are likely to form. As such, it behooves every small business owner to make employee education one of their top priorities. When working to foster a culture of security within your enterprise, you’ll be well-served by the previously discussed tips.