Cybersecurity is always important for organizations, but right now it’s really important to follow IT security best practices for employees.
Why? Because security firm McAfee’s reported estimated costs of cybercrime skyrocketed to ~$945 billion in 2020, a significant increase from 2018’s costs of ~$600 billion.
Cybercrime is expensive and damaging, and employees are the last line of defense for an organization’s total cybersecurity protection. That’s why it’s a good idea for you to jot down the following 10 IT security best practices for employees, so you can stay CYBERSAFE.
The best thing you can do to keep your company safe from cyberattacks is to ensure that your online and data habits are CYBERSAFE. The following 10 data security tips for employees should help.
C-Y-B-E-R-S-A-F-E employees follow these practices:
C – Constant Updates
Most cyberattacks happen to out of date software, so download updates immediately when they pop up on your computer, tablet, and phone. You shouldn’t have to hunt for these – you’ll get notifications from your company as soon as you need to take action (just don’t wait!)
Y – Yucky Links
“Phishing” is when hackers try to steal your login credentials by sending you to a fake website that asks you to log in. Spot fake websites by looking for “yucky links” with typos or weird letters.
B – Backups
Make sure to back up your files regularly as part of your routine. You could try making sure a backup happens before you break for lunch or at the end of your workday.
E – Engaged Attention
If cybercriminals catch you off your guard, they can steal all your data. Make sure that you’re never “going through the motions” when you’re on the internet or working with sensitive data. Pay close attention.
R – Router Updates
Not sure when your router/internet modem was last updated? Check with your Internet Service Provider (CenturyLink, Xfinity, Cox, etc.) to figure out how to update your router.
S – Strong Passwords
Combine at least 8 uppercase and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create strong passwords and change your passwords often. Use a secure password manager like 1Password to store complex passwords.
A – Authentication
Multifactor authentication helps stop those thieves who steal your passwords (it happens a lot). Most authentication methods text you a code to confirm your identity but some methods use a special authentication app on your phone.
F – Physically Secure Hardware
Keep unwelcome eyes off your files by password protecting your devices and putting your computer out of sight when you’re not using it. And, uh, just go with us on the “F” here. ☺
E – Endpoint Protection
You can bet that your company has at least some sort of endpoint (device) protection solution, such as legacy antivirus, EDR, or MDR, or a layered combo of those tools. Intune, an endpoint management solution from Microsoft, helps you “enroll” your personal and work devices so you can boost your security and streamline your remote work tasks.
Many employees think working from home is no big deal in terms of cybersecurity, but that’s just not true.
Remote work moves sensitive or proprietary business data off of a company’s secured, firewalled network at the office, and onto:
Taken together, this means that when you work from home, sensitive business data is traveling over hackable networks, onto outdated devices that may already have malware, to leak data and leave it out in the open for anyone looking for it.
Plus, if your laptop crashes, you could lose entire spreadsheets or databases that weren’t backed up remotely (which an office network usually takes care of for you).
Luckily, staying CYBERSAFE can help you avoid these problems. Whew!
For 20 years, the Seattle-based IT experts at Interplay have been helping small to midsized businesses and their employees support their critical technology, so that it runs at peak performance and stays properly secured for years.
Applying these IT security best practices for employees is just one part of a complete, layered remote work cybersecurity defense. Your company has many more options for cybersecurity that may be a great fit for your organization’s budget and needs.