Understanding the Importance of Cybersecurity Training  

With remote and hybrid work becoming more popular, cybersecurity training is more valuable than ever. From recognizing phishing scams to working on a secure network, there are plenty of topics to cover to make sure your employees, company, and company data stay safe no matter where the work gets done. Here are a few cybersecurity topics you can review with your team this year: 

Mindful Connections 

  • Wherever the office is, Wi-Fi networks are essential for getting your tasks done, but they can also be the perfect opportunity for a hacker to gain important information. While working remotely, employees should avoid joining suspicious and unsecured networks. If they connect to an open or public network, they should avoid logging into accounts that house sensitive information.  
  • A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts your data and internet connection. Set up a VPN for your remote employees to connect to for secure access.  
  • Even when in the office, employees should be cautious when connected to Wi-Fi. Remind your employees to avoid connecting vulnerable devices (such as an Alexa or unsecured personal phones) to any Wi-Fi networks that are connected to important company information. If a vulnerable device is compromised on a company Wi-Fi network, hackers may be able to obtain valuable company data.  

Multi-Factor Authentication 

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) provides an extra layer of security for everyone on their devices. MFA requires two or more authenticators to verify it’s you before you get access to the accounts or apps you are trying to log in to. 
  • Educate your employees on how to utilize Multi-Factor Authentication on their personal devices and require them for all company devices. If hackers do get past one factor, unauthorized users shouldn’t be able to get past the second requirement.  
  • Multi-Factor Authentication requirements can include anything ranging from an additional password or PIN, a facial or thumbprint scan, or an approval prompt from a separate app or device.  

Password Protection 

  • Set password requirements to include a unique character, certain number of characters, and a number so it’s difficult for hackers to guess the passwords. 
  • Set up a Password Manager. This data encrypted storage system works much better- and safer- than the notebook or post it note you’ve used in the past. And your IT Department will thank you for not writing down your passwords anymore! 
  • Password managers can also alert you of potential phishing websites and when your password may have been compromised.  
  • Coming up with unique passwords for all of your accounts and remembering them can be quite a headache. On the contrary, when a hacker finds the password that you use for all your accounts, that can be an even larger headache. 

Recognizing Phishing Attempts 

  • One of the largest security threats to companies are phishing attempts. Scammers utilize realistic texts or emails to try and steal information ranging from passwords to Social Security Numbers.  
  • Stay ahead of the times – phishing attempts have only increased since the pandemic and hackers are staying up to date with trends to try and trick people. Remind your employees regularly to stay alert when online or opening emails or texts from unknown senders.
  • Phishing attempts may include an email or text that tells a story and an attachment or link the hackers want you to open. If you don’t know the sender or notice a typo in the message, proceed with caution.  
  • These attempts also have a sense of urgency (i.e. please contact me immediately), may have an abrupt or strange business request, or want you to contact them through another method rather than reply to the email.  
  • When in doubt, reach out to your IT team. They may be able to determine if the message is valid or block the sender from reaching out to other people in the company.

Stay Updated & Protected 

  • An outdated device can open many doors to a hacker. Encourage your employees to update their devices as soon as updates are released. These updates will include enhanced security measures.  
  • Whenever possible, set your devices to install updates automatically.  
  • Look into antivirus software and a privacy screen to provide your devices with extra protection.

At Rural Mutual, we strive to protect our customers everywhere – whether they’re on the road, at home, or surfing the web. Visit our Learning Center or reach out to your local insurance agent for other tips to stay up to date on cybersecurity.