Cyber safety: do your employees know how to stay safe online? 

As the world becomes increasingly digital, it’s important that employees have the appropriate skills to stay safe online.

Employers should be aware of the risks and take steps to protect their employees from cyber threats. However, this also means that they have to be proactive and educate their staff on how to stay safe online.

Promoting cyber safety in the workplace

The increasing number of threats that exist online require a more proactive approach to cyber safety. The ACSC received over 67,000 cybercrime reports last year – an increase of nearly 13% from the year before.

With cyber-attacks on the rise, it is important for employers to take necessary steps to ensure that their employees are aware of the threats lurking online, how to recognise suspicious or malicious activity, and necessary cybersecurity precautions.

Common cyber threats

The first step in keeping your staff and business secure online is ensuring your employees are aware of the various cyber threats.

Denial of service: prevents legitimate users from accessing or using a computer or network. The attacker uses the resources of their own computer or network to flood the victim's system with more traffic than it can handle, usually with the goal of making it unusable.

Identity theft: a type of fraud that occurs when someone obtains and uses the identifying information of another person without their permission. This can include stealing the credit card number or bank account information of an individual.

Malware: malicious software that can infect your computer. It can be used for personal gain or to cause damage to the computer.

Ransomware: a type of malware that restricts access to a computer system or network until a ransom is paid. It typically arrives as an email attachment and creates a lock screen with instructions for the user to follow.

Data breach: when an unauthorised person gains access to sensitive personal or proprietary information. A data breach can have serious consequences for a company, such as identity theft and financial loss.

Trojan horse: a type of malware that is often used to gain access to data on a computer or network. They typically exploit security vulnerabilities in order to enter the system.

Spyware: software installed without the knowledge or consent of the user. It can be installed remotely and has features that allow it to collect sensitive data from a computer.

Phishing and spear-phishing: the practice of sending an email that appears to be from a legitimate source in order to steal confidential information. Spear-phishing is a more advanced form which targets specific individuals. Spear-phishers use personal information about their intended victims in order to make their emails more believable.

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Implementing cybersecurity best practises

Implementing cybersecurity strategies and practises is complex. Ensuring your employees are aware of your security policies and procedures at all times is key to keeping your private information safe.

  • Encryption: the process of changing data so that it is unreadable or unusable without a key. Data can be encrypted in two ways, symmetric and asymmetric. Symmetric encryption uses the same key for both encrypting and decrypting data. Asymmetric encryption uses a public key that can be shared with anyone while keeping the private key private.
  • Two-factor authentication: a security measure that requires two different factors to verify your identity. It can be in the form of a code sent via text message or an app that generates codes.
  • Antivirus software: protects a computer from any type of malicious software. It prevents malware from infecting the computer and running without the user's knowledge.
  • VPN: a virtual private network creates a secure and encrypted connection to another computer or server through the internet in a way that protects your privacy and data from cybercriminals, corporations, and other third parties.
  • Backup data: a copy of your data that can be used to restore your original data if it gets lost, stolen, or corrupted.

Application whitelisting: the process of restricting software installation on a device or network by allowing only certain software packages from trusted sources. If there are vulnerabilities in these applications, they will not be able to be exploited by potential hackers.

Employee training: helps employees better understand how to protect themselves and their information, while also preparing them for the inevitable cyberattack. They are designed to teach employees how to identify suspicious emails, recognise signs of phishing scams, avoid malware and other cyber threats, and report any errors or suspicious activity that they may encounter in their work environment.

Get help from the security experts

Cybersecurity is a critical part of any business, and employees need to be fully aware of the dangers of the internet and how to stay safe online. By knowing the basics of online safety, your employees will be better equipped to deal with any potential threats.

Whether you need advanced cybersecurity software, endpoint management, intrusion detection and prevention, or security training programs, the cybersecurity specialists at Essential Tech can help. Talk to them today and strengthen your employee’s security skills.

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