To ensure the safety of data and devices within your business, security education ensures each and every member of your team knows the steps to protecting them. In this blog, we will detail the different types of security education required in a business and why they are important.
So what is security education and its importance? Security education improves employee awareness on the importance and requirements of IT security within a business to protect devices, data and important documents from unauthorised access from malicious users. It is extremely important for all members of the business to receive training on each aspect so the business remains protected.
Read on to find out why security education is so important in businesses and how you can implement it.
Why is Security Education so Important?
Security education is a type of training that provides employees with awareness on IT security, often as part of their initial induction to a company. Each member of the business should be aware of the dangers of poor IT security and the steps needed to protect valuable data against both internal and external threats.
If your business is in possession of any personal data or documentation, it is your legal responsibility to protect it. With the introduction of the GDPR law in 2018, data security has become essential across all industries handling data. This includes ensuring that the data is only used for the original purpose agreed between the involved parties, and that unauthorised persons cannot access sensitive information.
It is important to set time aside for regular security education for every member of your team to make sure that you are abiding to updated rules and regulations. For more information on how to improve IT security in your business, check out our Data Security VS Cybersecurity Blog.
Different Areas of Security Education
There are lots of different types of security education that may be relevant to your business depending on the scale, equipment and daily tasks. Here are the most common types of security education to introduce into your business:
Passwords are one of the most common security measures in place for accounts, documents and devices amongst other online and offline services. In a business, passwords are the most basic line of defence for your important equipment and files so using weak passwords is not enough to protect your data. From the very beginning of their employment, each member of the team must use strong, unique passwords for everything they access within the business.
Passwords for shared accounts should only be given to the required employees, and personal passwords should be kept to the individual to avoid internal threats in the business. They should not be easy to guess, including any important dates, names or numbers related to individuals or the company.
A minimum of 12 unique characters is recommended for a secure password and can be made up of a few unrelated words, so it is easier to remember without having to write them down or store them digitally. If you have a lot of passwords in the business that your employees would struggle to remember, consider using a password manager with a master password to store them.
External media such as USBs and hard drives are convenient portable ways of storing data. However, these devices are susceptible to malware attacks when in the wrong hands. You should never attach a removable media device to your computer or laptop if you are not sure of the contents. Likewise, only connect your USB or hard drive to a trusted device to avoid downloading malicious software. Simply inserting an external media device can download malware on your device.
To protect both computers/laptops and removable media from attacks, install anti-virus software on your computer as this automatically scans devices for malware. Create a strong password (using the guidance above) to ensure that only necessary people can access the device. Store the external media device in a safe place that cannot be easily accessed, and remove any data once it has been transferred to avoid unwanted use. Make sure every employee has security education so they only use removable media when absolutely necessary and they use best practices.
Every team member of a business should receive security education on the dangers of phishing when using emails. They must be aware of what to look out for when receiving emails, what should and shouldn’t be sent via email and once again, creating a strong email for their account. Emails should be encrypted to make sure that no one other than the sender and receiver can access them, some email providers have this built in and will also provide a warning when sending documents to external email addresses.
For more information about Email Security and avoiding phishing attempts, read our recent blog.
You may think that physical security is not as important for IT security, however this is definitely not the case. Access to where servers and devices are stored should be limited to only the absolutely necessary people. The area should be locked and alarmed when not in use, and stored out of sight to deter burglars or others with malicious intent.
If employees will be transporting their devices between work and home, they should have a suitable carry bag and safe space to store the device while not in use. Dust, debris and dirt can cause internal damage to devices and servers where there is high foot traffic so these should be regularly checked and maintained to ensure your systems run smoothly.
Cloud computing has a number of benefits over in house servers including enhanced security. Servers on the cloud can be accessed from anywhere with the measure of permissions, meaning only the required people can access your business’ data. The reliability offered by cloud is unmatched by in-house servers, as your data is backed up across multiple servers, leaving little room for error.
However, due to there being major amounts of data stored on cloud servers, which is growing each day, you need to ensure that only the right people have access. Make sure people that do have access have the correct security education to be able to use the system correctly. You can set permissions on individual files on cloud storage systems, files are encrypted and there are regular updates to help protect your data.
We have a cloud hosting blog that outlines more details about protecting your data online.
The type of WIFI you use in your business can have an impact on the protection of your data. The recently released WIFI 6 has improved security measures along with a whole host of other benefits to your business, so this is a worthwhile investment. Using an enforced security protocol called WPA3, WIFI 6 includes additional improvements to stop hackers, stronger encryption and secure onboarding for sites using IoT (Internet of Things). We have recently released a blog outlining all of the new features included with WIFI 6 and whether it is worth buying for your business.
As working remotely has become more common in recent years, employees should also be aware of the potential risks of using unstable or unsecured internet connections. There are also fake WIFI networks that allow malicious hackers to access devices, so employees should be trained on how to spot potential risks.
IT Services at 777 Networks
At 777 Networks we understand the importance of security education. We offer Cloud Computer Systems, Server Support and IT Security Services along with a myriad of other IT services to ensure the security of your IT systems and keep them running while you perform important tasks.
To find out more about how to implement security education into your business, contact a member of our friendly team.