Strong Staff: 5 Tips For Encouraging Cyber Awareness & Vigilance In The Workplace

Most businesses rely on technology to ensure their everyday operations run smoothly. However, all it takes is one cyber attack for a company to spiral toward failure.

That’s where cyber awareness and vigilance come in. If your business provides its employees with the necessary cybersecurity tools and knowledge, you will be better equipped to prevent crippling and devastating cyber attacks. Fortunately, getting started can be easy if you prioritize the following steps:

 

Cyber Awareness In The Workplace

Introduce Training Early

Asking your staff to undertake cyber resilience training can be challenging, especially if you previously provided no information about the importance of cyber awareness or even the basics, like protecting passwords. Many employees might be overwhelmed by the prospect of learning something entirely outside the scope of their everyday work.

To avoid causing overwhelm, make cyber resilience training a priority right from the employee onboarding process. When employees are made aware of the importance of cybersecurity early on, they find it much easier to incorporate it into their daily tasks.

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Get Back to Basics

It’s easy to assume that you have to use complicated technical jargon to explain cybersecurity, but it can be much easier than that. Address the most common causes of data breaches first, and work your way backward.

Weak and stolen credentials are the leading causes of data breaches. That can involve employees having easy-to-guess passwords or ones that can be easily cracked with the right software. Educate your workers on the importance of complex passwords, and implement multi-factor authentication to provide an even more robust layer of protection.

Highlight the Repercussions

Employees might not understand the importance of cyber awareness if they don’t grasp what the likely repercussions of a data breach could be. Once they know how impactful a lack of vigilance can be, they’re sure to be more likely to follow your practices.

While there’s a long list of associated consequences, some of the more harmful ones are reputation damage, downtime, stolen data, and financial loss. According to research, the average cost of a data breach in 2022 was $9.44 million.

Workplace cyber security

Ensure Regular Training

A one-off cyber resilience training session can be helpful for employees to learn the basics about phishing attacks, ransomware, and malware. When they know what to look out for, they might be more vigilant when identifying potential threats.

However, it’s easy to forget some of the most critical information when they don’t need to implement it daily. So, rather than organizing a one-off training session, provide regular refresher sessions. It’s also worth sending out frequent reminders and tips for keeping their data and your business safe online.

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Give Them Cold, Hard Facts

Unless your business has been impacted by cybercrime before, it can sometimes be hard for employees to take your training sessions seriously. However, if you present the cold, hard facts about cybercrime in the United States, you might notice an uptick in employees improving their digital practices.

For example, you might tell them that more than 53 million US citizens were affected by cybercrime in 2022, and they lost an estimated $6.9 billion in 2021 to cyber-related crimes. The US also has the second-highest number of cybercrime victims behind the UK.

Encouraging cyber awareness and vigilance in the workplace can be challenging, especially when you’ve previously been complacent. However, if you take the actions above, you should be able to foster a more vigilant and prepared workplace and enjoy a potentially reduced risk of cyberattacks in the future.

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Lynne

Mommy to a pigeon pair, blogger and online marketer. Lover of chocolate, good books and buckets of coffee.