Your employees could be the number one risk to the security of your business. When it comes to data breaches, viruses and hacked IT systems, human error often has a part to play.

Are you confident that your employees know exactly what they’re doing on the internet? Can you be sure they won’t click on any malicious links, emails, webpages or attachments? Or, do you need to make sure that extra provisions are in place to prevent a data breach?

Ensuring your team are safe and secure online should be integrated into your IT strategy. To find about more about what your IT strategy should look like and why it’s so important, click here.

Here are 5 essential ways to protect your business by ensuring your team are cyber secure:

  1. Have a comprehensive IT security policy

Your IT security policy should be included in your overall IT strategy plan. It should include all information related to the IT infrastructure of your business (including software, hardware, devices, data and access control). Likewise, it should include the measures you’re taking as a business to ensure that your team are cyber secure, including any training and technology that has been implemented. Everything within your IT security policy should comply with relevant standard and industry guidelines.

Having a structured, accessible IT security policy will allow you to record, review and implement your plans for educating and protecting your staff. That way you can review any provisions that are put in place and make suggestions based on their success. Having a comprehensive document to refer to will ensure that any cyber security policies that you implement will be organised, analysed and easy to access, taking away the stress often associated with data protection.

  1. Cyber security awareness training

Implementing effective cyber security awareness training will likely help you the most when trying to educate your staff. Staff will then have the right resources to refer to if they’re ever stuck or unsure when it comes to cyber security (this is especially useful with everyone working from home at the moment). Additionally, employees will regularly get given material and tested on a number of different security issues, such as email phishing, CEO fraud, social media security and more. As such, you can be sure that your staff are knowledgeable on every aspect of cyber security and will have the skills to know when a link, email or webpage is suspicious, preventing risk to your business.

Advanced cyber security awareness training software will send fake spam or malicious content to your staff via email. They can then track who does or doesn’t open/click on the email. If employees do click on potentially malicious content, this will be flagged in the system so employers can review staff who need extra training. Furthermore, these members of staff will automatically be sent additional training videos and assessments to further educate them and ensure that their IT security knowledge is up to scratch.

  1. Have the right antivirus software in place

Most viruses are designed to steal your personal or financial data, such as login names or bank account details. This can pose a huge threat, not only to your business but also to your clients if you’re managing their sensitive data.

Effective antivirus software will minimize the risk of viruses by scanning all of your web traffic and systems for malicious activity. If any suspicious activity is found, your antivirus software should stop it before it gets through to your systems and quarantine it, alerting administrators via email about what’s happened. With the right antivirus installed, all of your devices will be protected, whether they’re used inside or outside of the office, so you can be confident that your team are protected.

  1. Have a comprehensive password policy

Ensure you have a comprehensive password policy that employees can refer to when they’re creating their own passwords. That way, you can be sure that your team aren’t creating passwords like ‘password123’ and are, instead, fully informed on what constitutes a secure password.

Here are some suggestions for making passwords secure:

  • At least 10 characters
  • A combination of letters, numbers, cases, symbols
  • No recognisable words

You can also advise that employees use a password generator that will be able to generate completely random and totally secure passwords such as: 7Ynnj0!tfehPo665vM?’

  1. Partner with an effective IT support partner

An effective IT support partner will sit down with you and help review your current IT strategy and IT security policy. They will then be able to make suggestions for implementing technology to enhance the security of your business. Because they will learn the ins and outs of your business, they’ll know exactly which technology will suit the make up of your business – meaning you benefit from their IT expertise. Additionally, having an effective IT support partner means that you won’t have to worry about updating or maintaining any systems or technology as they will be able to do it for you. Their expertise and training will also mean that they will be up to date on all the latest trends in cyber security and can protect your business from any new scams or viruses.