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How to educate your employees on cybersecurity

No small business is exempt when it comes to the growing threat of hacking and cyberattacks today.

Every small business should remember this when it comes to putting strategies in place to protect their company. Cybercriminals don't make exceptions when it comes to choosing where to attack next, and small businesses are often at greater risk. Unlike  bigger companies, they often have weaker security measures in place and can be easier to hack.

Educating employees about potential cyber breaches -- how to spot them and what to do if they suspect an attack -- is one of the most effective ways to protect your company. When everybody works together to keep your business safe, security will be tightened significantly. So, what should employee education look like?

Work with Professionals

Outsourcing cybersecurity to a managed IT services company can be very useful for your business in several ways. Not only will you be able to rely on experienced professionals who are paid to look after the security of your business rather than hiring staff do the work, but those professionals can help educate your employees. Many IT companies offer employee training programs as well as general IT support and cybersecurity.

Include Cybersecurity in Onboarding

Educate your new employees about cybersecurity in your company as soon as possible. That may entail making cybersecurity a key part of the onboarding process. Take the time to review your current onboarding process and, if necessary, adjust it to include cybersecurity education. It's important for every new employee to have an early understanding of the seriousness of cyberthreats to your business and know what they should do if they suspect a breach has taken place or there is an imminent threat.

Offer Guidance

Many people simply don't realize the impact that they might have when it comes to a cyberattack. When setting passwords, for example, many of us consider what is easy to remember rather than what's easy to guess. Guide your employees on setting strong passwords that use multiple character sets, at least eight characters, no complete words, and never shared. Another area where you can offer some guidance is phishing emails, which might look just like a regular email at first glance.

Make It a Priority

With the cybercrime threat to small businesses growing, cybersecurity education for employees should never be an afterthought. Mandatory cybersecurity education that is treated as a priority should always be the way forward for your business. Make sure that your employees are given regular training to ensure that their knowledge is up to date, since cybersecurity is constantly changing as technology evolves and criminals become more sophisticated.

For small businesses, the best line of defense against cybercrime and hacking attacks is often a well-educated, well-prepared workforce. With cyberattacks on small businesses becoming more frequent, educating your employees from the start is one of the best strategies that you can take.

First Midwest Bank has ideas to help protect against fraud. Get connected today

This article was written by SmallBizViewpoints from Small Biz Viewpoints and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@industrydive.com.

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