The importance of training remote employees on cybersecurity

As the world continues to be dominated by remote work, new cyber risks have emerged. In order to combat these challenges, it’s important to reevaluate your cybersecurity protocol to maintain cyber-resilience in a remote workplace.

One of the best practices to improve your cybersecurity is employee training. By teaching employees basic cybersecurity, you can reduce security risks from human error, prevent damage to the company, protect your employees from theft, and increase your overall cyber resilience.  

Reduce human error  

You’re only as strong as your weakest link, and when it comes to cybersecurity, humans are the weakest link. In a recent study, human error was found to be the main cause of 95% of cybersecurity breaches. Even if you equip employees with the proper tech and security software, your company can still fall victim to cyber-attacks if proper training isn’t conducted.  

There are two types of errors when it comes to human mistakes: skill-based and decision-based. Skill-based errors often arise when an employee is tired, distracted, or just simply has a lapse in memory, which are common occurrences for remote workers. This type of error can be decreased by reminding employees to take breaks and giving them the proper resources to aid their mental health. Decision-based errors are often caused by a lack of knowledge or insufficient information when making decisions and can easily be mitigated with proper cybersecurity training. 

The most common human error is insufficient passwords and a lack of email awareness. In 2021, the most common password used was “123456.” The second most common is “Password.” Weak passwords serve as an easy access point for hackers. Teaching employees how to create a strong password and doing password checks can help protect employees from data breaches. 

Email awareness training can also significantly reduce data attacks from human error. Lack of attention to security alerts, patch updates, and falling for email phishing scams can open the company up to serious risks. Train your employees to look out for security alerts and be more mindful of who they’re sending emails to. Teach and test your employees’ knowledge to recognize the signs of scams, and instill reporting habits so that potential threats are notified and dealt with properly.  

Cybersecurity training fixes the lack of awareness that makes companies vulnerable to attacks. Taking the extra step to teach remote employees basic cybersecurity can significantly reduce the chance of a cyber-attack.  

Prevent damage to the company  

Lack of cybersecurity training can lead to monetary damage, legal conflicts, lower productivity, and a diminished reputation for a company.  

According to the latest data breach report, the average cost of a security breach in the United States has increased to $9.05M, with remote work being one of the main reasons for the increase.  

Along with monetary damage, companies can be held liable. Depending on how the breach occurred and how the data was stored and protected, legal ramifications may be endured by the company and those responsible for data security.  

This can greatly affect the company’s productivity. Rather than proceeding back to regular activities, many employees will have to focus on amending the intrusion point or the effects of the cyber-attack. In the case of a ransomware attack, business activities can halt altogether, costing the business much time and money.  

All this can tarnish the company’s reputation and trust, causing the company to concentrate on building back its credibility to minimize the effect it might have on customers or stock prices for publicly traded companies.  

Cyberattacks are costly, but by training employees in cybersecurity and stressing the importance of following the company’s security compliance, businesses can often prevent this damage.  

Keep employees protected and aware  

Not only does cybersecurity training protect the company, but it also gives employees the knowledge needed to protect themselves inside and outside of the workplace.  

Identity theft is one of the most common cyber-attacks among remote workers. This attack specifically targets employees and is often used to take advantage of their personal or financial information. Potential ramifications include damage to an employee’s credit score and financial health, which can lead to inaccurately informed financial decisions such as what mortgage an individual can qualify for, debt pay-off prioritization, and more. Should an employee not recognize the attack right away, these types of financial decisions, when made under a false assumption of good financial health, can have long-term negative effects. 

All of this can cause stress and anxiety which employees could take into the workplace making things like retaining or acquiring a job extremely difficult. In some cases, identity theft can also be used to gather the needed information to break into a company’s data.  

Identity theft is on the rise because of remote work. The main reasons for this are unsafe work environments and the use of work devices as personal devices. Oftentimes, remote workers don’t just work from home. They may choose to do work at a coffee shop, hotel, or at a family or friend’s home. Regardless of where they choose to work, requiring a cybersecurity risk assessment will allow employees to gauge how safe their remote workspace is.  

Although reminding employees to separate business and personal use is important, it can be hard to enforce. Training employees in basic cybersecurity will help further enhance the protection by teaching employees how to recognize signs of unsafe sites and scams and giving them the knowledge to practice basic device security. 

Similarly, having employees understand cybersecurity will create more confident decision-making and less time wasted second-guessing themselves. This will allow them to independently sift through what is a scam and what is real, and give them the confidence to accurately and comfortably report security threats.  

Strengthen cyber-resilience 

Cybersecurity training allows employees to increase cyber-resilience by improving identification, protection, detection, and reaction to security threats.  

Training employees to identify common attacks and avoid common security risks makes them less likely to fall into traps. Cybersecurity lessons will also create a strong understanding of the company’s data security protocol, which will allow them to act quickly and swiftly when situations arise. By providing this essential training, the company will be able to prevent, mitigate, and act fast against cyber threats, thus improving the overall cyber-resilience of the business.  

Hope for the best but prepare for the worst 

While training can reduce the risk of a cyber breach, no training is 100% effective, so it’s important to be prepared in case of a catastrophe. To help further strengthen your company’s cyber-resilience, invest in backup software to speed up the recovery process. Having employees work from home can cause sensitive information to go unprotected. To reduce the risk of losing your data, protect your computer systems with backup software. Backup software allows you to safely create and store a copy of your systems and data. If you have remote employees, consider trying out BackupAssist WFH for a free trial. Whether your data is lost, infected, or corrupted, this backup software enables you to restore files and recover from any cyber-attack with ease.  

Alternatively, you can check out the other backup solutions we offer, including: 

All our products come with a 30-day free trial.  

You can also contact our Client Success Team to get expert advice on choosing the right backup solution for your business.

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