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SMEs need cyber security training

employee sitting at computer

Cyber Security this! Cyber Security that! With all the recent media reporting of the subject, you would think that it was nothing more than a buzz phrase. However, you’d be very wrong!

While the media and general public might only just be clocking on to the need for cyber security, it has been a business essential for many years.

How secure are your passwords? How many are the same? How many people know them?

Have you installed anti-virus to ensure your system won’t be infected by malware, worms, viruses and more?

Cyber security is going mainstream, but the problem is keeping it in the front of our minds every day while we’re at work.

SMEs are no less vulnerable than large organisations

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, between 2014 - 2016, two out of three SMEs were attacked by hackers. Considering that many follow the line of thought that they are too small to be a target, it puts things into perspective. The threats to SMEs are very real and it only takes one mistake to put the entire business in disarray.

95% of data breaches are caused by human error - this is due to a lack of education and little to no security policy in place. Employees are our best asset which is why we need to equip them with the training to ensure they know what to do when an online threat appears, or how to keep the information they process safe and secure.

What steps can I take?

Engage, Excite, Educate

Imagine you’re back at school!

I’d imagine that your favourite lesson was so engaging because it was made fun, digestible and interesting. Who want’s to sit through reams and reams of powerpoint slides to learn- you need valuable information, a variety of different approaches to teaching and a dash of humour.

Animation is a brilliant way of connecting with users because you instantly think of the word ‘fun’ whenever you see drawings. Cyber Security Basics for SMEs, provided by Bob’s Business exclusively for Virtual College, mixes humour, animation and bite size courses in short, easily digested modules.

The modules quickly introduce the key points every individual working in an SME needs to know, your employees are busy and this course respects that - there’s no jargon, no unnecessary technical explanations, only key information, delivered as needed.

Keeping information safe should never be a chore, the same goes to the learning method you use, which is why is perfect for SMEs.

Just using security software to protect the organisations critical data is not enough, It’s crucial to understand the risks that arise from careless behaviour and all IT users should understand the role they play in keeping their business information safe.

The education provided through Cyber Security Basics helps prevent breaches from occurring in the organisation, ultimately saving time and preventing financial loss as well as many other negative outcomes.

Network Security

Securing a network is essential to any business, whether there’s two or two million employees. Passwords… yes I hear that groan! Passwords are not a pain, they are the key to the flat, the code to get into the safe, the butter to your bread in cyber security terms.

We all know about passwords, we all use passwords (I really hope you do!) but are they as strong as you believe them to be? -here are some password that you shouldn’t be using:

  • Cheese123
  • Password
  • Qwerty
  • 123456789
  • Princess23
  • Biker52
  • Satan666

You get the picture - these are so easy to guess that any brute force attack would crack them like a breadstick in seconds. If any of these were your network password, I would dread to think of the consequences that using them could have on your organisation.

Ensuring that your passwords are at least three random dictionary words long with two-factor authentication is a great way of ensuring that the confidential and sensitive data within your network remains under your control.

The ‘Perfect Passwords module including within the Cyber Security Basics course will also detail information on how to keep your passwords private and the steps all employees need to follow when constructing them.

Home and Mobile Working

In 2017, employees don’t just work on their desktop computer in the office, they work on the move too. Mobile phones, laptops, tablets and, more importantly, Wifi have all revolutionised the working environment to expand past the four walls within the organisations premises.

Yet this new found freedom for staff, comes with new risks, which, without education and policy can appear like a minefield to any SME. According to OpenDNS and Ponemon Institute, 45% of businesses do not have a mobile working policy.

Employees require training on how they can protect themselves whilst they are on-the-go. Unsecured networks need to be avoided in order to keep a safe environment within the workplace and when working in public, never leave your equipment out and unlocked. Opportunistic thieves are always about ready to swipe laptops, mobile phones or any confidential information from your possession.

Here are some points to consider:

  • Always lock your equipment in a locked cabinet or the boot of your car when not in use
  • Disable USBs to make sure that no infected devices can connect with the laptop
  • Be mindful of those who are around you when you’re working, you never know who might be able to steal information from you

Make sure your staff are trained to spot the threats

SMEs need to invest in training that will not only be time effective, but will equip their staff with the basic security knowledge they need to protect themselves first and foremost.

Cyber Security Basics guides employees through the maze of obstacles by offering helpful advice and guidelines you must follow to protect your organisation against information security threats.

It’s vital that companies of all sizes are aware of what they should and should not do when facing potential cyber threats that could have a negative impact on their business.

This information was supplied by cyber security experts Bob's Business.


Related resources

CPD
Investors
ISO 9001:2015
Microsoft
Crown Commercial Service Supplier

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