Tip of the Week
Tip of the Week: 11 Ways to Instill Security Awareness in Your Team
While it really would be a nice thing to have, there is no magic bullet for your business’ cybersecurity—no single tool that allows you to avoid any and all issues. However, there is one way to help make most threats far less likely to be successful: building up your company’s internal security awareness amongst your employees and team members. Let’s go over eleven ways that you can help ensure your company is properly protected, simply by encouraging your employees to take a more active role in guarding it.
11 Ways to Make Sure Your Team is On Their Guard
In order to fully absorb the lessons that your security training is meant to impart, your team members need to be engaged in the training. One famously effective way to encourage this is to make it fun (at least to some degree).
Running simulated attacks, with incentives given out to motivate your employees to do their best in identifying and reporting them, with help to reinforce the positive behaviors you want your team to exhibit if and when they have to contend with the real McCoy. This also allows your employees to gain practical experience with a live threat, so to speak.
Incorporate Security Awareness into Onboarding Strategies
There’s a lot that has been said about the impact that a first impression can have, so it only makes sense to have one of the first impressions you place onto your newly-hired employees be the importance of cybersecurity. Instilling good security habits early on will only help your organization resist more threats in the future.
Make It Understood that Mistakes are Expected
Accidents happen, and the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Regardless of how well your team is prepared, there is almost certainly going to be a slip-up somewhere down the line. Part of your security training has to be the acknowledgment that there will be mistakes made by your employees, and the publicized acceptance of that outcome.
If your team members expect to be punished for their mistakes, they will only work harder to hide them. You need to know about these issues so that they can be resolved, and your team members educated so that these mistakes are not repeated.
Shape Training to Your Team’s Situation, Work Roles, and Age Groups
Chances are, your team members are not a monolith… in addition to the many different roles that they likely fill, they come from a variety of backgrounds, age groups, and other differentiators. As a result, a single method of teaching isn’t likely to work equally effectively amongst them all.
While it is important that everyone is trained, it is equally important to remember that not everyone will respond to a given form of training in the same way. You need to diversify your training strategy to involve a variety of methods to account for the various learning styles your team members are likely to exhibit.
Keep it Short, Sweet, and Frequent
Long, cookie-cutter training sessions are a great way to disengage your team from the lessons that your training is meant to impart. Substituting marathon-style training for shorter, more frequent “sprint” sessions will help keep your team interested, and will allow for more consistent training to take place.
Use Different Mediums
Much in the same way that your training needs to account for various learning styles, your training should come in different formats. Basically, you don’t want your training to exclusively be presented as group lectures delivered to the team (or whatever your chosen default is). By switching up the format, you help to make your training more impactful, which will help it stick better with your teammates.
Encourage Them to Share Lessons with Their Families
One of the best ways to ensure that your employees fully understand the cybersecurity principles that you’re imparting upon them is to encourage them to pass on these messages themselves to their families. Not only will this help make their home security more robust, it will reinforce the habits that you want them to uphold.
Select Company Security Leaders
Identify the people in your company who take to the security practices that you impart most effectively and empower them to take a leadership role in terms of your company’s security. Not only will this give you a more focused security infrastructure, it helps you to more completely fill your company with your message.
Keep Your Material Fresh
While it might seem like a good thing to have your team members be able to recite your training materials by heart, there’s a difference between rote memorization and really absorbing the lesson. Switching up the lessons will help to keep your team sharp, engaged, and on the alert.
If you want to know how you can make your training more effective, the best way to find out is to ask your team members. Ask them what resonates with them, what they could use more help with, and (most importantly) what they don’t know enough about yet. While it may sound funny to ask your team members what they don’t know, they’ll likely let you know what they feel less confident about (thereby giving you the opportunity to remedy it).
Emphasize Why Training is Necessary
Another reason that your team may not respond well to training is because they simply don’t appreciate why it is so important. Incorporating the why into your training, alongside the how, is sure to help your team become more accepting of the necessity of training.
Jackson Thornton Technologies is here to help your newly-security-focused team members identify and respond to threats more effectively, assisting them however we can. Reach out to us to find out more about our security services by calling 334-834-7660 today.
Tip of the Week: Keeping Peeping Eyes Out of Your Webcam
With many—if not most—computers and especially laptops featuring integrated webcams at this point, it isn’t hard to imagine how disastrous it would be to be spied on through it. Let’s take a few moments and go over a few ways to be sure that your webcam isn’t being used without your consent by someone else.
Keep Your Software Up to Date
To spy on you through your webcam, a cybercriminal (which is what that person would be) needs to have access to it. This can be as simple as simply hijacking an insecure program that has already been granted this desired access.
Keeping your software up to date helps to eliminate the likelihood that the hacker will have that opportunity, from the programs and apps you have installed to the operating system itself. When working on a PC, navigating to Settings and to Update & Security will bring you to the option to schedule your Windows Update. Rather than being interrupted mid-workflow, you can Change active hours to have these updates implemented after hours.
Maintain a Firewall
When it comes to keeping unwanted guests out of your network, a firewall is one solution you certainly need to prioritize. Making sure it is up, activated, and effective is a relatively simple process.
In Settings, once again under Update & Security, you should find Firewall & network protection in the left sidebar. The menu that opens when you click it will offer Windows Defender Firewall, one rudimentary way to stave off threats. This is a good enough solution for home users, but businesses will want to deploy an enterprise-level firewall that is designed to protect every facet of their network.
Securing Your Wi-Fi
It isn’t uncommon that attackers will target your network via the router, rather than the computer that uses it to connect to the Internet. If they can access this piece of your network infrastructure, there’s a considerable list of devices they’ll then be able to access. Better securing your router equates to better securing your entire network.
The first step is to rename your wireless network to something that doesn’t tie back to your business and lock it down with a strong, complex password. You’ll need to remember it, of course, but using a passphrase with some added symbols and alphanumeric switching will help keep it memorable to you and bamboozling to cybercriminals.
Cover Up Your Webcam
If you’re really and truly worried that someone may be peeping at you through your webcam, the simplest way to prevent the possibility is to simply obscure their view. Covers are available to make it simple to “deactivate” the camera when it is not needed, and in a pinch, a sticky note will do the job just fine.
Privacy always needs to be prioritized, in the office, the home, and in the home office. For more tips, practices, and advice on keeping your data secured, make sure to check back on our blog every few days.
Tips to Help You Keep Your Workstation Clean
If you are like many other people, your desktop computer just sits there, day after day, allowing you to run your business. Unfortunately, like any other machine, it will fail. One way to prolong the lifespan of your computer is to keep it clean. Today, we thought we’d give you some pointers on how to do so.
Why is a Clean Computer Better?
Think of it this way. If you have one pan and you use it to cook regularly, you’d wash it every time you cooked a new meal, right? If you didn’t it would pick up stuff from everything you’ve cooked and it would make the food you cook next taste weird. Cleaning your computer works the same way. The more you use it without cleaning it, the more dust and residue builds up in the machine and it affects the way the computer works.
How Often Should I Clean My Workstation?
Unlike a pan, you can get away with not cleaning your computer for a while. You should definitely clean it at least once a year, but it’s really a good idea to open it up and at least blow it out with some canned air every quarter (four times a year) or so. It also matters where the computer is located. For computers that are in an industrial environment, in the presence of pets, near or on carpet, or used regularly by children (or unhygienic adults) should be cleaned more often. Either way, you should plan on giving it a good cleaning at least once a year. We recommend having a professional do this for you - if your office workstations are starting to look pretty dirty, it might be a good idea to give us a call at 334-834-7660.
Cleaning Your Computer’s Components
You will need to approach cleaning each part of your workstation differently. Let’s start with some things that you absolutely shouldn’t do:
● Do not spray any liquid directly into the computer. Spray a cloth and wipe instead.
● Do not use a vacuum, as it can create a damaging static charge. Use compressed air to blow away any debris.
● Don’t allow fans to spin freely as you are cleaning them, as it could actually damage them.
● Don’t clean your computer while it’s turned on.
Now, let’s go through how to clean the various parts of your workstation.
Your Workstation’s Case
Keeping your workstation’s case clean assists airflow. You will want to use a lint-free cloth to wipe down the exterior to help minimize dust on the outside. Working to the inside, you will want to use a can of compressed air to clean out any dust and debris.
Keeping the rest of your workspace clean is important, even your keyboard, your mouse, and your monitors. You will want to use lint-free cloths and compressed air. If you must, you can use diluted rubbing alcohol to wipe down hard surfaces.
At Jackson Thornton Technologies, we continue to provide the information that users need to properly use and look after their technology, call us at 334-834-7660 today if you have any questions or comments.