Cybersecurity Awareness in the Workplace: 4 Tips to Keep Your Organization Safe and Secure

4 tips to keeping your organization safe
4 tips to keeping your organization safe

Keeping information safe and secure has been a constant challenge for organizations of all sizes over the last few years. Expeditious shifts from in-person, to online, to hybrid workplaces forced companies to change, or at least reexamine, their cybersecurity practices and protocols and far too often, they weren’t prepared for cyber threats. In fact, according to CyberEdge’s Cyberthreat Defense Report, 85% of organizations suffered from a successful cyberattack in 2021. 

Now, organizations are looking at ways to bolster their defenses, safeguard their data, and increase cybersecurity awareness in the workplace. But which plans, practices, and services should these organizations invest in?

Below are 4 steps organizations of all shapes and sizes can take to protect themselves against cyberattacks and increase cybersecurity awareness in the workplace.

1. Be Aware of Your Most Valuable and Vulnerable Assets

Understanding what information is most valuable to cybercriminals is essential to combating cyberattacks. First, create an inventory list of your organization’s invaluable data and assets, including manufacturer, model, hardware, and software information. Then, take note of who has access to essential data and information while accounting for all storage locations. This practice will ensure that business leaders have a track record of accessibility to know where to look in case of a vulnerability or breach.

It’s also important to be proactive and seek out vulnerabilities in your organization’s network before it becomes an issue. Routinely assess your cybersecurity posture by performing a cybersecurity risk assessment that produces a report of your security strengths, gaps, and vulnerabilities. After all, how can you improve your cybersecurity if you don’t know its overall health?

2. Protect Assets by Updating and Authenticating

Protecting your data and devices from malicious actors is what cybersecurity is all about. To accomplish this, make sure your security software is current. Investing in the most up-to-date software, web browsers, and operating systems is one of the best defenses against cyber threats. Furthermore, ensure these devices have automatic updates turned on so employees aren’t tasked with manually updating devices. Additionally, ensure all data is backed up either in the cloud or via separate hard drive storage.

Another important way to keep your assets safe is by ensuring that staff uses strong authentication to protect access to accounts and that only those with permission can access them. This safeguard includes strong, secure, and differentiated passwords. According to a 2021 PC Mag study, 70% of people admit they use the same password for more than one account. Using weak and similar passwords makes it easy for cyber attackers to access more materials than they could imagine. Finally, make sure employees are using multi-factor authentication. While this may result in a few extra sign-ins, MFA is essential to safeguarding data and can differentiate between successful and unsuccessful breaches.

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3. Monitor and Detect Suspicious Activity

Companies must always be on the lookout for possible breaches, vulnerabilities, and attacks, especially in a world where many often go undetected. Organizations can achieve this without allocating all their resources by investing in cybersecurity products or services that work 24/7 to hunt for threats and protect endpoints, mobile devices, network, perimeter, cloud, and applications. With proactive detection and containment, a cyberattack can be stopped in its tracks. 

Cybersecurity awareness in the workplace is crucial to keeping your organization safe and secure. Ensure your employees and personnel follow all established cybersecurity protocols before, during, and after a breach. Individuals who ignore or disregard essential cybersecurity practices can compromise themselves and the entire organization. Everyone has a role to play when keeping the organization safe from cyber threats.

4. Have a Cyber Incident Response Plan Ready

No matter how many safeguards you have, the unfortunate reality is that cyber incidents still occur. However, responding in a comprehensive manner will reduce risks to your business and send a positive signal to your customers and employees. Therefore, organizations should have a cyber incident response plan in place in the case of a breach. This plan should include practices such as disconnecting any affected computers from the network, notifying your IT staff or the proper third-party vendors, utilizing any spares and backup devices while continuing to capture operational data, and more. 

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