Here, we’ll look at the concept of cyber security, its importance and role in the workplace, and some guidelines that you and your team can follow to reduce the risk of your company falling victim to cybercrimes.
What is Cyber Security?
Cybersecurity is a set of practices or security measures that are designed to safeguard internet-connected networks, systems, and data from cyber-attacks and unauthorized access. Having a robust cybersecurity strategy in place can help protect your company against malicious attacks that aim to access, change, or destroy sensitive information and disrupt your business operations. It also keeps your team safe from those attempting to steal their personal information and extort money from them.
Cyber security has six essential elements, the coordination of which is extremely crucial in protecting the overall infrastructure of a company. These elements include:
- Information security – a set of regulations that protects both company and customer data. It also prevents unauthorized access, change, and disclosure of sensitive information.
- Application security – the practice of adding additional security features in a web-based application to protect users such as your employees, clients, and customers from cybercrimes.
- Disaster recovery planning – also referred to as a business continuity plan (BCP), it refers to strategies preventing a cyber threat, as well as recovery procedures should you fall victim to a security breach.
- Network security – entails the use of both software and hardware technologies to protect your physical network and all devices connected to it.
- End-user security – it’s all about organizing cybersecurity awareness programs and putting together cyber security courses to educate end-users about good practices and habits and increase their awareness of cyber attacks.
- Operational security – a method that examines your organization’s overall security plan from the perspective of a cybercriminal. Its goal is to track any existing protection lapses in your security system so that they can be addressed right away.
Why is Cyber Security important?
Technology, while it has undeniably improved people’s lives, has also exposed us to a range of security vulnerabilities. Because of today’s reliance on digital tools, everyone has become more open to cyber crimes like data leaks, frauds, and identity theft, and also to more sophisticated attacks like social engineering, malware, ransomware, and hacking. Falling into the trap of these crimes isn’t just a direct threat to the confidential data of your team and customers, but it can also put your company in legal jeopardy. For these reasons, businesses of all sizes are highly encouraged, if not mandated, to invest in strong cyber security.
Cyber security also plays a vital role in establishing a trusting relationship with both your team and your customers. These people rely on the security of your infrastructure when logging into your website, or filling in their data to your system. Mostly containing sensitive data such as their personal address and phone number, it’s your utmost responsibility to ensure that their information is kept safe and protected and that it will never fall into the wrong hands. Otherwise, you risk losing their trust in you and your organization, and worst, it could significantly damage your reputation and put off your potential investors.
Last but not least, having good cybersecurity in place keeps your operations running smoothly. Unless you have a good security system to prevent and overcome these crimes, a cyberattack can grind your operations to a halt. Such unplanned downtime will negatively impact your company, not to mention how much time and money these attacks would have done to your company.
Cyber Security in the workplace
Technology-dependent corporations often forget that it’s generally the people of their team who are the most vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Bear in mind that network firewalls can only do so much. They can keep the attackers from accessing and destroying your data, but these security systems aren’t capable of preventing your team from clicking harmful links from a fake source or sending important information to an attacker pretending to be someone they know.
As an employer, the best way to amp up your cybersecurity in the workplace is by providing your workforce with regular cybersecurity and IT training courses. Make sure that everyone in your team is up to date with the most prevalent cyber threats today so that they can easily identify and right away avoid them.
Here are some learning approaches that will help ensure that your cyber security training and IT courses are effective:
Shift to microlearning
Microlearning, in its most basic form, is a modern learning strategy that breaks down a bulk of information into bite-size content chunks. Over the years, it has gained an incredible amount of popularity in the corporate world because of its power to yield better results such as increased completion and better retention rates.
This learning approach is specifically ideal for the likes of cybersecurity training programs, which typically include technical subjects that are too difficult to understand. By making your security awareness training materials shorter, the content becomes much easier to digest. Microlearning is also more concise and targeted, which makes the learning process much more efficient and effective. Not only will it help learners to grasp your cybersecurity concepts, practices, and policies quickly, but they will also retain that knowledge for a longer time.
EdApp, a dedicated microlearning platform, has a built-in authoring tool that can help you put together a micro-based information security training material in just a few easy steps. All you need to do is choose from their 80+ intuitively designed microlearning templates, author your content, and then hit publish.
There are also a number of cybersecurity training that you can use and import for free. Its courses on Cyber Security and Cyber Security Awareness are perfect if you’re seeking to introduce your team to the basics of cybersecurity and its importance in the workplace.
You can also check its Cybersecurity & Internal Threats course should you wish to equip your team with adequate knowledge on how to identify and prevent cyberattacks and insider threats.
Make your cybersecurity training fun and engaging
Since most cybersecurity training programs cover complex topics that are just too difficult to grasp and follow, there’s this shared misconception that everyone will only end up getting distracted. Some learners even fall asleep after a few minutes of following a security awareness PPT training, or reading their modules. That doesn’t have to be the case, though. The trick here is to make the learning process active. Involve fun and engaging activities that will give your learners something to do. Reinforce games and quizzes between lessons, and make it even more exciting by adding real awards and prizes that they can claim upon completion.
Take advantage of EdApp’s gamification features to put a new spin on your cybersecurity training. Here, you’ll find an array of game-based templates that can help you design cyber security quizzes in a smartphone game format. Incorporate interactive features like leaderboards, timers, and point systems to foster healthy competition and motivate your learners into taking and completing their free cybersecurity training. If your training budget allows, you can even set up rewards and prizes like cash incentives, coffee vouchers, or sales coupons.
Boost retention through spaced repetition
Spaced repetition, also known as distributed practice, is also a great way to maximize the efficiency of your cybersecurity training. The idea is that the lessons will be retaken by learners at increasing intervals until the knowledge is fully embedded in their long-term memory. This method is closely tied to Hermann Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve theory, which argues that information easily slips out of the human brain unless an effort is made to retain it. Spaced repetition tricks the brain into thinking that the new knowledge acquired is important by revisiting the topics.
Level up your training with EdApp’s Brain Boost, a training tool that’s based on the science of spaced repetition. It’s a powerful, algorithm-based feature that automatically sends concepts that your learners haven’t completed yet. It identifies the cyber security awareness training topics that your team hasn’t mastered yet, and repeats these lessons in bite-size chunks. This strategy allows your learners to recall the concepts without exerting too much mental effort. Brain Boost is automatically built-in to EdApp, so you won’t need to install add-ons or software to enable this feature.
Benefits of Cyber Security
Let’s dive into the benefits of having a robust cyber security posture in your workplace.
Protects your business from cyber threats
Cyber security protects businesses from cyber threats like ransomware, malware, phishing attacks, and DDoS attacks. By investing in the best security systems and establishing safe security practices in place, a potential attack would be much easier to detect and prevent. It will also arm the entire organization with the necessary skills and knowledge needed to overcome a cyber attack.
Fosters better workplace productivity
Keeping your team at ease knowing that your systems, software, and devices are secured and protected will keep their minds off worrying about data breaches and malicious attacks. It will allow them to use their devices and surf the internet without worrying about unauthorized access. When your team has confidence in your infrastructure, you can rest assured that their productivity will improve dramatically to a great margin.
Secures stakeholders and future investors
A company that clearly has a good cybersecurity program in place will secure your stakeholders’ trust and support. And the best part? It’s a big box that will be ticked in the minds of your future investors. If they know that your company is secure and very much prepared to overcome an event of a cyber attack, they are more likely to invest in your team and services, and that will be your ticket to long-term business success.
Saves your business from the costs of cyber crimes
A potential data leak and a breach could be very disastrous, and not only will it damage your business’ reputation, but it will also negatively impact its bottom line. From the damage of data and stolen funds to the loss of your client’s trust, the cost of cyber attacks is vast. Cyber security prevents these attacks from happening in the very first place, therefore saving your business from the skyrocketing costs of cybercrimes. Even if an attack were to occur, having such security protection will keep your potential recovery costs to a minimum.
Establishes customer trust and loyalty
One of the most substantial advantages of cyber security is the trust you build and maintain with your customers. Modern customers want a seamless digital experience that goes beyond just a quick login and authentication – they want an online experience that’s completely secured. Giving them the confidence that their personal data is 100% in safe hands will establish their trust and loyalty, and that will drive them to keep purchasing your products or using your services for a long time.
Cyber Security Guidelines
In light of the rising events of cyber attacks today, having good cyber security in your workplace must be your top priority. Otherwise, you’re only putting not only your business but also your team and your customers at high risk. Here’s how you can protect your business systems from getting hacked and attacked.
Keep software and hardware up-to-date
One of the best ways to protect your business systems and data secure against unauthorized access is to keep both your software and hardware up to date. Software updates often contain security patches and new security features, all of which are crucial to ensure that your system isn’t vulnerable to the most recent types of cyber attacks. The same goes for computer hardware, which must also be kept updated to support these software upgrades.
Don’t engage with suspicious links and emails
A rule of thumb in cybersecurity, don’t click suspicious links. Make it clear to everyone on your team that if they have encountered a suspicious link or email, they should not engage with it as it might be some sort of social engineering scheme or a phishing scam. This crime preys on users’ trust to get valuable information. These cybercrimes may end up stealing anything from their personal identity to confidential company information.
Improve password security
In terms of corporate security, password management should be treated with utmost priority. This is primarily because passwords serve as the first line of defense against security breaches. Having a strong password will keep your accounts and data safe from hackers and malicious software. Use a specialized tool to choose strong passwords, or invest in password vaults to protect your team’s passwords in a secure digital location.
Use antivirus and virus protection software
Computer viruses are becoming more and more sophisticated and perilous, making antivirus and virus protection software more crucial than ever before. Cyber companies engineered these products to detect any potential viruses and remove them before they infiltrate your company system and cause irreversible damage. Most of them also offer regular updates, so you know they’re up to speed and prepared to fend off even the most current types of cyber threats.
Back up your sensitive data
Cyber attacks and security breaches can erase a large chunk of your company data in just a blink of an eye. The effects of these failures can be very detrimental to your business, which is why you must have a backup plan should these attacks occur. Having a backup for your sensitive data will save you both the time and money needed to restore data that’s been compromised. Consider storing your data on external hard drives and USB devices, as well as off-site storage such as the cloud so you’ll still have a safe copy should an attacker take down your data center.