Security Training Isn’t Just About Strong Passwords

 In Security

Employees are the first line of defense against malware, so training them in safe computing is an important component of any cybersecurity strategy. For the training to be effective, employees need to learn information security isn’t just about their behavior at the office. Defending against viruses and ransomware requires learning good habits that apply outside the office, too. Some key behaviors to teach:

1. Safe use of USB devices

USB devices can be infected with malware, so employees should never connect an unknown device to their computers. Some devices have even been shipped from the factory with malware on them, and users should be wary of devices freely handed out even from known organizations.

Another risk occurs when USB devices are plugged into charging stations at hotels, airports, and other public locations. It’s possible for data to be transferred during the power charge, infecting the device with malware. The risk of infection applies to all USB devices, including those users may not think of as an IT device, including e-cigarettes that can be charged via a USB connection. While the risk is mostly theoretical at this point, users should still opt to recharge by connecting to an electrical outlet when possible, instead.

2. Safe use of public WiFi

Using public WiFi is a well-known risk. Identifying the “official” network at a location can be difficult, given that network names are not controlled in any way. The public network may be unsecured, leaving data vulnerable to eavesdroppers. Once a device is connected to a network, it may be possible for hackers to install malware on it. Using a VPN ensures the employee’s connection to the office is safe.

3. Avoid online advertising

Ad-blockers do more than block annoying ads; they remove security threats. The links in these ads can lead to malicious sites, but even worse, some ads deliver malware even if the user doesn’t click on any links. Help employees install ad blockers to protect against this threat. This is one security measure they may even appreciate!

4. Read forums cautiously

People enjoy interacting, and participating in online forums is a great way to connect with others—especially during our time of social distancing. But there’s “stranger danger” in those forums. Users can post unsafe links, and there may be dangerous JavaScript embedded in posts. Remind employees not to click on links and set their browser to request permission before executing any code.

Users will always be the biggest risk and the most important defense against cyberthreats, so make sure you train them to use safe computing practices. Prescient Solutions offers comprehensive cybersecurity solutions to businesses in the Chicago and Schaumburg area. Contact Prescient Solutions to work with our certified experts to develop a security strategy, deploy security tools, and implement security policies to protect your critical business assets.

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