By Elijah Masek-Kelly. Originally published at ValueWalk
More businesses now offer a hybrid workplace to cope with the changes led by the global pandemic. As more offices shifted to work-from-home settings, it has been challenging for many employees to return to the office as things bounce back to normal. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 76 percent of respondents are still working from home due to personal preferences.
A hybrid workplace is a flexible model that combines in-office and remote work. It allows employees to perform their tasks at home while occasionally joining the office. Although this working structure is convenient, it poses cybersecurity risks, mainly if you use two different computers and networks while working at the two locations. The first step businesses need to take to reduce the risk of cybersecurity threats is to learn more about them while educating every team member.
Listen to Cybersecurity Podcasts
Some people absorb materials better when they listen to them. A cybersecurity podcast is a perfect tool that allows listeners to catch up on the latest news about cybersecurity threats or gain insight from experts in the field. Cybersecurity podcasts are a convenient method of educating yourself or your employees as it requires minimal effort and can be done when performing other tasks requiring little concentration. You can listen to them during your drive or bus ride to work or when you’re taking a lunch break at home.
A cybersecurity podcast can also be a valuable asset for specific professions, such as journalism. Sometimes, digital traces left behind can threaten the safety and security of journalists and their sources. Lack of knowledge about cybersecurity threats can lead to costly expenses for journalists that can harm their credibility. Understanding the threats makes it easier to prevent data breaches and protect confidential information.
Listening to a podcast from a reputable source allows you to learn about a significant cybersecurity story and gives you a head start to train your employees if it happens at your workplace. It is vital to stay updated about new vulnerabilities to protect your company as hackers continuously look for more ways to invade your privacy and perform data breaches.
Offer Material Outlining Threats
As you educate yourself about the potential threats that could harm your company, offer materials to your employees. All team members need to be aware of the threats to identify them if they occur.
Understanding the different types of cybersecurity threats, such as malware, ransomware, and phishing, is the best way to learn how to tackle each of them. You could subscribe to magazines or other outlets that offer updated information or create a comprehensive guide outlining all the threats and ways to deal with them.
Although there are many resources available online to allow people to educate themselves, many of your staff members might not have the motivation to search for the right source. They are more likely to view materials if you provide them, especially if you make it mandatory. You could take quizzes at the end of every material to encourage participation and ensure that all your employees are prepared to tackle any cybersecurity threat.
Conduct Training Sessions
Frequent cybersecurity training sessions are a great way to educate yourself and your employees about cybersecurity threats your company may face, as they can prevent costly mistakes in the long run. Introducing more cybersecurity programs will reduce the risk of data breaches as they will be more knowledgeable in the field and possess the ability to identify the red flags.
Cybersecurity training should be mandatory for employees in all departments, even if they don’t frequently use applications that pose security risks. You can further reduce the risk by holding refresher training sessions every few months to ensure that your employees are always aware of emerging threats.
Use Vulnerability Testing Tools
Some companies offer to crowdsource security services to find your company’s vulnerabilities and report them to your security team. Professional teams use an advanced computer security testing method by mimicking attack paths that hackers may use. This allows them to identify potential threats and inform you before they occur for extra safety.
Some types of tools include web application scanners, protocol scanners, and network scanners. Each tool addresses a different location to test vulnerabilities in various areas.
It is crucial that you consult an experienced team for this work to achieve realistic answers and prepare your workplace accordingly. Hiring the wrong company can increase your risk of cybersecurity threats and make you more vulnerable in the eyes of hackers.
Encourage Awareness with Incentives
Whether your employees are working in the office or remotely, it can be helpful to encourage them to be cautious of cybersecurity threats. You can increase their attention span and draw light on the security matter by offering incentives.
Positive encouragement is a great way to ensure employees focus on security matters. The incentives can include rewarding them when they complete a training course or if they accurately handle a potential data breach. According to an Incentive Research Foundation study, incentive programs with awards in the form of money or tangible awards can increase performance by an average of 22 percent.
You can also offer interactive training sessions that allow employees to engage and enjoy the process. If they have fun during the learning process, they’re more likely to concentrate on the materials.
The Importance of Cybersecurity Education
Employing different tools and methods to educate your team about cybersecurity threats is vital to keeping your company safe. Encourage your team to actively participate and be ready to tackle any cybersecurity threats as they occur.
Offering reliable resources and pointing your team in the right direction will ensure that your company is free of data breaches. Use all the sources and techniques available to secure your hybrid workplace.
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