Cybersecurity Checklist For Onboarding New Employees
A majority of cybersecurity technologies offered today include the best in vital software, from firewalls to anti-malware to data encryption and more. However, as important as this technology is, on its own, it simply isn’t enough.
The key to truly comprehensive cybersecurity is simple, yet often overlooked: the user.
The best cybersecurity technology and practices in the world can be undone by one staff member who doesn’t understand how to use them, or how to protect the data they work with.
Why Is Employee Cybersecurity Training So Important?
Your staff can have a significant effect on your cybersecurity – either they know enough to keep your assets secure, or they don’t, and therefore present a serious threat to your security.
So, which is it? Do your employees and volunteers have the knowledge they need to spot cybercrime scams, avoid common pitfalls and keep your data secure?
If you’re not sure, then they may need training…
A comprehensive cybersecurity training program will teach your staff how to handle a range of potential situations:
- How to identify and address suspicious emails, phishing attempts, social engineering tactics, and more.
- How to use business technology without exposing data and other assets to external threats by accident.
- How to respond when you suspect that an attack is occurring or has occurred.
Your Employee Onboarding Cybersecurity Training Checklist
- Security Regulations & Compliance
It doesn’t matter which types of technical safeguards you have in place if your staff doesn’t know their role in compliance. You would be surprised how often staff members mishandle data – leaving a hard copy in a waiting area or open on a visible workstation screen.An effective compliance plan has to teach your staff how to handle a range of potential situations:
- How to participate in compliance best practices
- How to use business technology without exposing private data and other assets to external threats by accident.
- How to respond when you suspect that your organization is noncompliant.
- Password Policies
- Update Passwords: Make sure your staff changes their passwords on a regular basis. That way, it doesn’t matter if a hacker has an old password from three years ago from that website you don’t use.
- Don’t Use Identical Passwords: If users aren’t repeating passwords, then you won’t be vulnerable to further breaches when a hacker gets your info.
- Mobile Device Management
Integrated into your internal network, mobile devices can be used to access, store, transmit, and receive business data.You’ll need to have policies in place to regulate how employees use their devices to interact with sensitive data. Take the time to consider the risks associated with mobile device use, such as the potential for devices containing business data to be lost or stolen, infected with malware, or the potential for accidental disclosure of confidential information through sharing a device with a family member or connecting to an unsecured wireless network.
- Incident Reporting
Staff members also need to know how to report a potential incident, and help your organization respond effectively.If you think you may have been the victim of ransomware, phishing, or another type of cybercrime, your first step is to get in touch with your IT support immediately. If you haven’t already, don’t hesitate to hire professional cybersecurity experts. Hardening your systems against attacks and thereby making yourself a harder target for cybercriminals is absolutely critical.Beyond that, make sure to follow these three steps:
- Isolate The Damage: Your first move when an attack occurs is to isolate the computer from the network to prevent further access. Remove the network cable from the tower or laptop and turn off your networking functions (the Wi-Fi settings). Do this manually even if you have security software that claims to shut down the connection for you.
- Power Down: You also need to shut down your computer to prevent damage to your hard drive. Ideally, your anti-virus and anti-spyware will prevent the attacker from getting that far, but you still need to remove it from the computer to protect it fully.
- Control Access: Resetting your passwords is also critical. You should be sure to create entirely new passwords and avoid re-using them at any point. Don’t forget to check any accounts linked to your computer, including social media profiles, email accounts, online banking, and any other potential targets.
- Cybercrime Awareness
Staff members need to understand how cybercriminals are most likely to attack. Can your employees spot a phishing email?
- Suspicious Links: Always be sure to hover your mouse over a link in an email before clicking it. That allows you to see where it actually leads. While it may look harmless, the actual URL may show otherwise, so always look, and rarely click.
- Spelling and Grammar: Modern cybersecurity awareness comes down to paying attention to the details. When reading a suspicious email, keep an eye out for any typos or glaring errors. Whereas legitimate messages from your bank or vendors would be properly edited, phishing emails are notorious for basic spelling and grammatical mistakes.
- Urgent and Threatening: If the subject line makes it sound like an emergency — “Your account has been suspended”, or “You’re being hacked” — that’s another red flag. It’s in the scammer’s interest to make you panic and move quickly, which might lead to you overlooking other indicators that it’s a phishing email.
Security awareness training helps your employees understand how to recognize and avoid being victimized by phishing emails and scam websites.
They learn how to handle security incidents when they occur. If your employees and volunteers are informed about what to watch for, how to block attempts and where they can turn for help, this alone is worth the investment.
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