The importance of staff training for best internet security practices
In the past, setting up a business was impossible without a brick-and-mortar office. Today, entrepreneurs establish virtual offices and use the internet to coordinate with their employees. Even businesses with old-fashioned offices use the internet to boost sales, improve customer satisfaction, and enhance brand awareness. While the internet offers numerous benefits and advantages, businesses cannot afford to ignore the various perils and dangers online.
Many firms make the mistake of thinking that investing in elaborate and expensive security architecture will provide adequate protection from online risks. However, even the best software programs will prove ineffective if your team is not trained to follow the best internet security practices and procedures.
Protecting your firm’s online presence and virtual assets cannot be achieved by threats of disciplinary action alone. Creating the right attitude towards internet security is a matter of sensible leadership and sensitive management. There is no doubt that errant employees who refuse to follow safety procedures should be punished. However, such an approach is unlikely to work in the long run. For a truly effective security setup against online threats, you should inculcate these leadership traits.
Why is internet security so important? What will happen if your online data gets hacked? How will the long-term prospects of the firm suffer if private user data is leaked online? It is your responsibility as a leader to communicate the consequences of a breach in online security. Simply establishing the ground rules without making an effort to create awareness is not a sustainable solution.
Communication should not be a one-way street. Invite your employees to come up with innovative solutions to minimise online risks. Your employees are more likely to follow online rules if they have a say in the formulation of the best practices. Encouraging people to talk about the importance of online security will ensure your firm’s online credibility is not dependent on just one or two individuals.
Many employers make the mistake of centralising the decision-making process for all internet-related activities. This causes employees to simply treat online security as an issue that need not concern them. From the posting of social media updates to handling online orders received by the firm, delegating tasks to your employees will help them implement theoretical rules related to online safety in real life.
Even the most security-minded individual may err by opting for a weak and easy-to-remember password instead of a complex and strong one. Be honest enough to confess when you failed to follow your firm’s best security practices. This honesty will instil a sense of camaraderie and ensure there is no distinction between employees and upper management as far as online security is concerned.
What is the point of docking pay or terminating an employee for non-compliance of online safety rules? Such harsh punishments are likely to discourage obedience. Instead, come up with a constructive way to penalise those found guilty of violating the firm’s online safety rules. Encourage your team to determine penalties for errant employees. However, you could impose monetary fines, which will ultimately be used to fund internet security products and services. Think out of the box to ensure your employees never lose focus of the larger picture.
Internet security methods and tactics
Combine sensible leadership with effective tactics and strategies to minimise online safety risks. Some useful security tips include:
- Frequent password changes with emphasis on strong passwords.
- Up-to-date antivirus and antimalware programs.
- A clear and detailed internet usage and virtual assets usage policy.
- Mutually determined list of prohibited software programs and websites.
- Use of latest security technologies and protocols.
Consequences of lack of internet security
There was a time when a security lapse would, at the most, result in temporary outage of the company’s website. Today, some potential consequences of security lapses include:
- Loss of private corporate and customer data.
- Hacking of social media profiles leading to unauthorised posts and updates.
- Expensive lawsuits from aggrieved customers and users.
- Loss of credibility and market reputation.
- Release of proprietary information and data on the internet.
We are moving towards a world where the Internet of Everything will become a reality. Devices will access the internet automatically and execute automated tasks. For example, printers will place online orders for paper reams to ensure the firm does not run out of paper. In such a scenario, an enthusiastic and security-conscious team will be the last line of defence against various online risks and threats against your organisation.