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Protect Your Business Data by Training Your Staff3 November 2014

Cyber criminals are targeting your firm. If you’re in any doubt about this, dip into the spam section of your email system. It’s packed with invitations to share your bank details, to download viruses and to pay for goods or services you never received.

But with so many spam emails being automatically spotted and marked as dangerous, it’s easy to let your guard down when a malicious message slips through the net, dropping into your inbox and looking, at first glance, genuine.

You, and your staff, can’t rely solely on email systems and anti-virus programs to protect you from criminal attacks. That’s why it’s essential to train your employees in how to spot potential threats, because their judgement could be your last line of defence against falling victim to cyber crime.


How to train staff to prevent cyber crime

Criminals know that it’s easier to trick people than to trick computers. Which is why it’s important to make your staff aware of the potential threats. Here’s what they should know:

The importance of their role in digital security and the value to them of helping to keep the firm protected. A successful attack could cost the business thousands, in lost time, lost sales and the resources employed to fix the problem.

Never click on a link in an email or social media post without being absolutely confident that it’s genuine. Particularly if the email has anything to do with finance.

Watch out for spear phishing attacks. These try very hard to look genuine because the criminals have researched their target. The email or social post is addressed to a named individual and may use the name of genuine customers or suppliers. Advanced spear phishing can also include telephone calls, in a bid to make the email seem even more plausible.

Be careful about USB sticks and disks. Viruses, many of which will try to steal your passwords, are often transferred on USB memory sticks or even CDs. Take care what you put into your computer.

Confidential data must be protected. This includes customer and supplier information. Care must be taken when transferring files containing confidential data, which should not go outside your firm’s secure digital environment.

Always keep antivirus programs up to date, on computers, smartphones and tablets. Alternatively, use a system that keeps all your devices up to date automatically.

What to do if a cyber attack is suspected or occurs. Staff are to be encouraged to report potential attacks that they’re aware of. More importantly, if they think an attack has worked, they should report it immediately. While they might want to keep quiet, out of embarrassment or even fear for their job, they should be encouraged to speak up quickly so that the damage can be minimised.


How to get the message across when training staff

The threat to firms is growing, as cyber criminals realise that digital crime is less risky and potentially more rewarding that old-fashioned theft and fraud.

Here are some suggestions for how to keep your staff informed of the real risks of cyber crime:

  • •  Display posters around the workplace, reminding people of the risks.
  • •  Hold a short briefing session to discuss cyber threats.
  • •  Include cyber security tips in your internal newsletters or staff updates.
  • •  Share real-life instances of cyber attacks, as examples of what to look out for.
  • •  Ask your IT support provider to deliver a training session.

Whether your business has five employees or five hundred, each one is a potential weak link in your digital security. Investing time in training them about the risks from cyber crime will help protect your business against potentially disruptive and expensive attacks.


How we can help you with cyber security

We help smaller businesses across the south of England to implement and manage their digital security. Our solutions include:

  • •  IT security audits, which are included as a standard service to all our clients.
  • •  Correct configuration of routers, firewalls and other security hardware.
  • •  Internet usage monitoring, keeping track of all web traffic across the business, on any device.
  • •  Mobile device management, allowing firms to remain in control of smartphones and tablets.
  • •  Automated updates of security software on all computers used by the business, wherever they are.
  • •  24-hour support and recovery service, helping firms recover from security breaches as quickly as possible.


If you want to improve the cyber security in your business, we’d be pleased to have a no-obligation conversation about the potential solutions. Call us now on 08450 510600 or email

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to data security, so get in touch with us today.