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The Go-to Guide on User Security Training

The security of your enterprise’s and customers’ data is often at risk, and your employees may be the reason why. 47% of business leaders say that human error, such as the accidental loss of a device or document by an employee, has caused a data breach at their organization

With a 44.7% increase from the previous year in data breaches in 2017 and forecasts of growing costs associated with data breaches, it’s vital to implement user security training.

First, you should cover some foundational aspects of user security training – and this guide will help you get started.

Start With Password Setup

Setting up passwords is one of the first lines of defense against reducing and eliminating data breaches. To help your staff get the most of out your user security training, it’s essential to include best practices for setting up passwords. Some key best practices to include about password setup include:

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1. Encourage Using Unique Passwords

It’s easy for hackers to decode passwords that have been decoded from other sites. Thus, it’s important to train your team members the significance of using a unique password for each site or profile they use instead of using the same one across different profiles or sites. Similarly, you should also emphasize to your team the importance of choosing security questions you can answer that is not easy to guess.

The biggest threat to Network Security

For instance, avoid using static knowledge-based authentication (KBA) security questions, such as questions about your mother’s maiden name or your first car’s make and model, if possible. Instead, you can opt to answer questions with very specific answers only you would know, such as your two favorite vacation destinations.

That means avoid using answers that are easily found online or in credit reports or that are easy to guess.

2. Emphasize the Use of MFA and 2FA

When it’s possible to use MFA (multi-factor authentication) and 2FA (two-factor authentication), everyone in the enterprise should implement it. MFA provides an additional layer of protection that can prove crucial when authenticating accounts. Keep in mind that it’s hard to break user habits of taking the easy route with security. Most people simply don’t understand (or care) to see the importance of security.

Enterprises are increasingly turning to 2FA (a two-step form of MFA). An example of 2FA includes getting text message with a special code sent to your smartphone, security key or email that you must use to log into your account. Something as simple as adding an extra step can dramatically decrease the chances of a data breach happening.

3. Use Longer Passwords

During training, you should emphasize creating passwords that are longer than seven characters. Educate your staff to create passwords that are at least eight characters long. The longer and less common the password is, the stronger the password will be and less vulnerable to hacking.

Also, encourage your team to use different cases for letters, use symbols, including “#” or “!” and avoid using series of numbers that are easy to guess, such as “1234.” Also, encourage your team to change their passwords every 90 days.

Discuss Domain Policies

Training is an ideal time to discuss domain policies, too.

When you want to lock your computers, it’s crucial to have domain policies in place. Ensure that you go over policies that include requirements for locking all devices securely after use. Also, make sure your team is using data encryption and demonstrate to your team the proper procedure for backing up their work. Provide your team with the correct expectations so they know what they should do when they are locking their computers before leaving the office.

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Focus on Physical Security

From smartphones to laptops, hackers frequently target mobile devices. Even the Internet of Things or IoT-enabled devices, such as smartwatches and digital assistants, are vulnerable to security hacks. Thus, it’s crucial to focus your user security training on physical security, too.

Don't become yet another victim

Ensure your team members are aware of best practices to keep their mobile devices safe. That includes keeping track of their mobile devices that hold company data at all times, especially in public places.

Implement Regular Training Sessions

Hackers are inventive and constantly working on new ways to breach your enterprise’s security protocols. Your staff requires the latest information to keep up-to-date on the latest security hacks and best practices. Therefore, it’s important to conduct training sessions on a regular basis.

With regular training, you can review essential information, such as procedures identifying phishing schemes or installing and running anti-virus software. Make sure to also use your training sessions for testing your team members’ knowledge on the best practices they have learned. This helps to ensure they understand what they need to do.

Consider having a training session every three months or 90 days and on an as-needed basis when an important security matter arises.

Facilitate Sharing Security News

To keep people up-to-date with emerging threats, it’s important to share security news. There are several ways to facilitate security news sharing. You can have on a private online forum or internal online news messaging system designed to keep all team members and stakeholders up-to-date. You can also facilitate the sharing of security news by having informal meetings to discuss trending security news or to find out any news your employees may know, such as suspicious emails or alternative ways to secure company data.

Support teams with a way to share security news and encouraging these best practice. That way, you can easily keep them abreast of new data breach techniques they need to know.

Start Taking User Security Training Seriously

Training your team is essential to safeguarding your customers’ sensitive data and your company’s proprietary information. By putting these best practices into place, you can keep your team informed and help reduce security risks that lead to data breaches.

Looking for a greater level of assistance with your organization’s security? No problem – turn to IPRO and let our team of managed IT security experts help you secure your data.