Rachel Bailey

Have you ever thought about what you’d do if your small business fell victim to a cyber attack? According to NetIQ, 34% of companies don’t have a crisis response plan for a data breach or cyber attack. The best place to start: by training your employees on cyber security.

Data protection and cybersecurity practices should be incorporated into the initial orientation of your new hires. It should also be an area of training that’s regularly updated in tandem with constant developments in technology.

If your company deals with sensitive client data, your policies may differ slightly. No matter which industry you fall in, though, your employee handbook is a great place to house these important safety details.

Here are some things to talk to your employees about:

Computer

Now’s a great time for your HR and IT department to collaborate on what employees can install and keep on their work computers. Downloading outside programs can open the door to security vulnerabilities in your network.

Passwords

While this may seem like common sense many consumers still are creating and using uncomplicated passwords (ex. 123456. Yes, I’m being serious). Long words with a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters and a mix of numbers and symbols are best. Don’t forget to change them routinely.

Social Safety

In the social world many people tend to reveal a good amount themselves on various profiles. This can allow hackers to “scrape” the sites and use the information to create messages that appear as though they’re coming from friends.

Red Flag Alert

As mentioned, staying cyber-secure starts with your employees’ awareness. So the more training you provide, the better equipped they’ll to recognize things such as phishing scams, malware and viruses. If your company actually handles sensitive data, your cyber security procedure is likely a bit more intensive. Encryption, shredding of documents, and confidentiality issues all come into play.

But whatever industry your small business is in, keeping your employees up-to-date with procedures will be your best defense against cyber criminals. And don’t forget to have a response plan in case something were to happen.