IT security leaders know the importance of having corporate policies to protect and defend their systems against cybersecurity threats. The problem is getting that message across to what the Wall Street Journal has identified as the greatest cybersecurity threat to organizations, their employees!
Inattentiveness to compliance and human error are the leading hazards to your computer and network systems. And if your company is relying more on remote workers than in the past, this also adds to your security burden.
Here are eight tips that can help encourage compliance with your organization’s IT security policies.
Tip #1 – Make Every Employee Team Aware of Risks
Yes, in this day and age there are still people who aren’t aware of the how their actions can leave your organization’s systems vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. You can help employees gain a better understanding of the risks by explaining in understandable language why they need to follow the security policies.
Tip #2 – Teach Employees How to Identify Threats
An IT professional can typically tell the difference between a legitimate email and a scam. However, others in your organization might not be so savvy. Teach your fellow employees how to identify cyberthreats like phishing emails and phony login websites.
Tip #3 – Promote Awareness of Password Best Practices
Casual password practices put your systems at risk. While employees might prefer simple passwords, or no password at all, they need to be aware of password best practices that you should be including in your security policy. Mitigate your risks by automating the policies for creating a secure password for any device, including any BYOD that connects to your network.
Tip #4 – Get Support from C-Suite
Compliance with IT security policies needs to begin from the top down. If your C-suite isn’t going to comply with your policies, you cannot expect that others in your organization will either.
Tip #5 – Keep Employees on their Toes with Cybersecurity
It is easy to fall back into bad habits after the initial introduction of your security policies. Make it a practice to occasionally test employees of their security awareness (i.e., send out a fake phishing email) to help them keep up with compliance. Make a game of it and reward those who follow your policy by reporting the malicious email.
Tip #6 – Encourage & Reward On-Going Training Efforts
Cybercriminals will always continue to find new ways to infiltrate corporate networks. On-going security training and awareness will help your newer employees and fellow employees stay aware of potential vulnerabilities.
Tip #7 – Install & Use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
There is a security risk any time someone connects to your corporate systems. When remote work at the beginning of the pandemic skyrocketed, an office of 30 employees may have gone from 1 network to 30 networks! And given the continuation of remote work and the rise of the hybrid workforce, this is still true today. If you have remote workers who access your network through their home network or a public network in a coffee shop, you need a virtual private network (VPN) to reduce your security risks. Install a secure VPN and require your remote workers to use it so that only authorized users will have access to your systems.
Tip #8 – Tighten Up Security
Despite your best efforts to increase security policy compliance, there will always be some employees that will not follow protocols. These employees put your organization at risk and need to be held accountable for their actions. A strict policy for compliance should be added to your security policies.
Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility, regardless of the extent of their usage and access to your corporate systems. These eight tips can help increase the likelihood that your fellow employees will make an effort to comply with your organization’s IT security policies.
With two locations in Toronto, ON, hubTGI is a Managed Services provider that offers Print Services, Workflow Solutions, Managed IT, Cybersecurity Solutions, Cloud Services and VoIP to help their customers control costs, secure their data and make their people more productive.
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