In 2017, 1,579 data breaches took place in the world, and this number only covers those that companies disclosed publicly. Needless to say, many of them involved businesses of various kinds.
Employee training and development has always been a critical component of job productivity. However, now more than ever companies need to develop their employee’s cybersecurity practices. Just one person not following the right protocols is enough for hackers to gain access to your company’s network and sensitive information. Here are some of the essential reasons for cybersecurity training and some of the best techniques for promoting a safe workplace, including using a business VPN to protect your network.
1. Reducing the Risk of a Data Breach
As incidents in the real world, data breaches are often crimes of opportunity. Hackers take advantage of weak passwords and unsecured networks to gain access to sensitive information. The biggest hacks get on the news, but 58 percent of attacks occur on small businesses. To protect against this, your company should use a business VPN (Virtual Private Network) – get it now. VPNs work to encrypt information with the highest layer of security making attackers’ job much more complicated.
2. Protecting Your Customers and Reputation
Regardless of what industry you are in, you likely hold a large amount of sensitive information about your customers. This may include credit card numbers, wire transfer information, addresses, and more. All of these things are prime targets for hackers. Even if they don’t attack your business directly, they’ll use this information to harm your customers. There are now state and federal rules that mandate that businesses protect consumer information. Ultimately, it will come back to your company’s reputation and whether you can be trusted or not.
3. Reducing Revenue Loss
When your website goes down, it costs you money. Even businesses that don’t sell products or services online suffer when their website goes down. There are many reasons for this. A website that’s gone offline prevents potential leads from contacting you. Instead, they might move on to a competitor. Put simply, offline websites look bad to both existing and new customers. For businesses that do sell online, any time down, especially during peak hours can crush revenue.
4. Preventing Costly Mistakes
It only takes visiting the wrong website, downloading one file or some other seemingly minor thing to create a serious security flaw. Malware now costs companies more than $100 billion a year. For this reason, it’s essential that all companies train their employees in digital hygiene. This goes for everybody who has access to the network from top executives to summer interns. Hackers can do much with very little information. The best way to do this is through brief, structured training sessions. Be sure they know that these are important skills not only at work but also across their lives.
One of the main problems is phishing emails. They may come from familiar email addresses but contain either viruses or attempts to gain personal information. Employees should be using ad-blockers as well as only enter their personal information into secure sites. Finally, they should also use a business VPN at all times to protect the company’s network. Hackers can do a lot of harm just by knowing an IP address. A VPN not only encrypts the connection but also hides the server location creating a significant layer of protection.
5. Ensuring Remote Connections are Secure
With the rise of laptops, the internet, and cloud computing, remote work has become an integral part of the modern work environment. Businesses want their employees to be able to access network information and apps no matter where they are. However, this can create problems if a person is connecting to the internet through an unsecured network. This is most often in places like cafes, restaurants, and airports. Before you give an employee remote access to your network, they need to follow a set security protocol.
In situations where people need to connect using local WiFi, it is essential they use a VPN. Public networks are crawling with all kinds of security threats. Through using a business VPN, your team can work from anywhere with a much lower risk of becoming hackers’ target.
One More Thing: Re-Evaluate and Re-Train
The digital landscape changes rapidly. Effective security solutions that work well today may not be as successful in the future. Cybercriminals constantly find new ways to crack into websites and networks. For this reason, it’s essential for business owners to re-evaluate their security protocols at least twice per year. Not only this, be sure to hold refresher courses to make sure everybody is following the latest digital security strategies.
Create a Strong Cybersecurity Protocol for Your Business
For small and medium-sized businesses without dedicated IT staff, it’s more important than ever to take cybersecurity measures into your own hands. This begins by making sure your staff is well trained on following the best digital safety protocols. From training how to recognize suspicious senders and downloads to being sure their connection is always protected through a VPN, these steps are critical. By doing this, you’ll be able to keep your company safe in today’s rapidly changing online world.