National Cybersecurity Month 2022: The Role of Employers in Individual Cybersecurity
Every year since 2004, Congress and the US President have celebrated National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October. This year, the national focus has spotlighted the individual element: how each person and business should act responsibly. We all have a role to play in maintaining cybersecurity for ourselves, our companies, and our customers.
Companies are asked not only to maintain updated software, but also to provide multi-factor authentication to help customers engage in their own data security. As employers, companies bear an even greater responsibility to both protect employee data and to equip employees with the tools to uphold their own cybersecurity measures. Here at OTAVA®, we’ve been paying attention and have noticed more than a few ways that our own team members protect themselves – and ways we as employers can contribute to the individual cyber-defense initiative in this year’s cybersecurity month spotlight.
The Role of Employers in Individual Cybersecurity
Employees both handle team members’ most private date and tend to shape the work environment, tools, and routines of their employees. Most people use similar tools outside of work that they become familiar with on the job and rely on work protocols to deal with data problems at home. Through this, employers can choose to set a great example and set their teams up for success by introducing individual security procedures and a security-positive work culture.
By introducing your team to security tools and set practices, your entire workforce will better protect their data in every future situation. This is good for company data, good for morale, and great for the ongoing battle between hackers and cybersecurity.
But how can you help your team to learn individual cybersecurity?
5 Ways to Help Your Employees Maintain Personal Cybersecurity
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Make sure that company logins include multi-factor authentication. This is more important than ever with the introduction of remote and hybrid work where employee logins can occur far beyond the office cubicle or terminal. Multi-factor authentication protects from both stolen accounts and stolen devices.
Should a hacker gain an employee’s login credentials, they will not also have access to their personal phone. In addition, the employee will get an alert of a login they did not initiate and can report this to IT immediately. Furthermore, multi-factor login methods on a phone can help to prevent family, friends, or phone thieves from accessing work content on an employee’s phone.
Put a Bounty on Phishing Emails
Create a channel where phishing emails can be sent. Then provide a reward for catching real infected links, impersonation, and fraud. Putting a bounty on phishing is a great way to keep your team on their toes.
Use Cloud-Based Document Management
Help your team avoid ever receiving a file directly from an unknown source. For the last decade, one of the greatest sources of cyber intrusion has been through infected files and links. The right cloud platform can serve as a buffer between employees and outside contacts. Using a cloud-based document manager can ensure that your clients only see scannable content that doesn’t pose a risk.
Teach Everyone to Make Complex (And Even Funny!) Passwords
Strong passwords are a must, but most people simply don’t know how to make a good password that they’ll remember. The ultimate trick is to make it funny. Hold password workshops and send out fun password creation tips and theme ideas. A password that is an acronym for a joke is hard to forget if you remember the beginning and the punchline. The best time for a password creation workshop is once or twice a year around new-password day. Encourage everyone to make three or four new passwords using the same method.
Pro Tip: For passwords that will be typed often, choose the password that is most comfortable to quickly type. Practice, type each one ten times and see how they naturally flow.
Provide a Password Manager
Here at OTAVA®, we’ve also noticed that a good password manager is extremely useful for maintaining good cybersecurity practices. We all know that having a unique password for every app is safest so that one compromised site doesn’t put your entire account network at risk. But it’s also nearly impossible to remember a unique password for every single app you use.
A password manager allows you to remember a single master password in order to generate and restore unique passwords for all those apps. By using a unique password for each website, a single breach does not expose the remainder of your accounts. It also enables you to use high-quality passwords that would be impossible to remember without writing them down.
OTAVA® is an advanced cloud-based platform designed for businesses with compliance and computing needs. Cybersecurity is something we are passionate about, and we are always learning new ways to provide greater security tools and protections for those whose data we handle and operations we facilitate.
For digital startups seeking the perfect foundation and enterprises in need of cloud solutions, OTAVA® is celebrating cybersecurity this October and year ’round. OTAVA® encourages you to take action this month to strengthen your defenses against cyber threats, and our security experts would love to help.