3 Mistakes Your Employees Make That Threaten Your Security

Cybersecurity is essential in business. With cybercrime on the rise and costing businesses in excess of $3.5 billion every year, it’s clear that the more secure your business is, the better. 

Not only does ensuring good levels of cybersecurity mean you can save money – it’s unlikely a cybercriminal is going to be able to access your bank account, for example – but it will also enhance your reputation.

 A company whose customers’ information has been stolen because of a breach in cybersecurity is going to find it hard to build up its reputation again, especially if that stolen information went on to cost your customers financially. 

We know, then, that cybersecurity is essential when you run a business. And we know that implementing firewalls and antivirus software, being aware of how scammers work, and even having a serviced IT company helping you is ideal. 

Yet none of this will make any difference if your employees are the ones who threaten your security.

Weak Passwords

Although they might not seem overly important when you’re creating them, good passwords can be the difference between a cybercriminal gaining access to your network or not. Therefore, it’s vital you set up a password policy for your employees to follow.

If they choose weak passwords, cybercriminals are much more likely to steal sensitive information, which is even more true if those passwords are the same for everything. 

A strong password will be a long string of letters, numbers, and special characters that can’t simply be guessed. Using a password manager can help when it comes to remembering these passwords. 

It’s also essential that all passwords are changed every three months; if a cybercriminal were to discover your password, they wouldn’t be able to use it. Employees must be made aware of how important strong passwords are and how to keep them safe. If training is required, this should be given. 

Using Outdated Software 

When you have outdated software in your office being used by multiple employees – perhaps even by yourself – you are essentially opening the door to cybercriminals and inviting them inside to take what they want. 

That’s because the more out of date your software is, the easier it is to hack into it; the vulnerabilities have long been exploited, and it’s a simple matter for a hacker to use their knowledge of this to gain access to your system. 

Updates are made available as soon as they have been created, and in the vast majority of cases, they are free to download and implement. The problem is that this can have a dramatic effect on productivity, with computers or specific programs being out of use until the download has completed. 

Therefore, employees will often skip over these updates to do more work. Ensuring they were aware of how important it is to employ these updates as quickly as possible would change this way of thinking. Since you can schedule many updates for when the computer is not in use, this should be implemented immediately. 

Not Having Cybersecurity Knowledge 

Unless your employees have a good level of cybersecurity knowledge, they simply won’t know what they should and, perhaps more importantly, should not be doing regarding the security of your business.

They won’t know, for example, that they should ignore suspicious emails and never click on the links therein or open attachments from people they don’t know. They won’t know that they shouldn’t use personal devices for work, especially when connected to an open wifi source. 

They won’t know that unauthorized system changes can cause big problems, even if they are more convenient for work. 

With all this in mind, training once again shows its importance; good training for your employees on all aspects of cybersecurity will help them understand what they should or should not be doing. 

It’s also crucial that you supply them with the right equipment and software that is legal, safe, and up to date.