Battling Cyber Threats by Building a Culture of Awareness


Thought Leadership

Battling Cyber Threats by Building a Culture of Awareness

Zix Staff

In today’s threat environment, having the best security solutions is not enough to ensure that a company is safe from the myriad of cyber threats lurking in the shadows. Yes, it’s critical to have great solutions in place, but to really maximize these investments, companies need to focus on employees too.

Every day, employees are faced with threats and possibilities for mistakes, and they need to know how to properly protect against them. From phishing emails aimed at stealing credentials and installing malware to unsafe links on social media to accidentally emailing sensitive data to the wrong people, employees can encounter threats and potential for data breaches more often than one may think.

In honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we have put together a few tips for companies looking to encourage a culture of security among employees.

Continued Education

With the dynamic nature of evolving threats and the growing complexity involved, companies cannot afford to overlook the importance of regularly educating employees. When it comes to threats, a company cannot expect employees to have adequate knowledge. Instead, it needs to hold sessions to educate employees on an annual or biannual basis to inform them of the specific threats they might encounter.

Regular Testing

To ensure that employees are learning, companies can set up testing to check employees’ reactions to specific attacks, such as social engineering and phishing attacks. These generally test employees by sending them fake phishing emails and capturing which of them fall for the simulated attack, and which of them do not. By testing employees without their knowledge, you can get a better sense of who within an organization is vulnerable and who needs additional information and training. Additionally, if testing is held on an annual basis, a company can track internal improvement and use it as an opportunity to provide useful tips and additional education on how to identify social engineering to the employees that fell for the fake phishing emails.

Protect Employees Through Data Loss Prevention

While we started by saying that having the best security solutions is not enough to ensure safety, it never hurts to have a safety net for employees. That safety net comes in the form of Data Loss Prevention (DLP) tools. One of the biggest threats facing companies — along with social engineering and phishing — is accidental employee breaches. While there is generally no malice involved with these breaches, they can regularly happen if an employee is not paying attention. Imagine the possibility of an employee accidentally attaching the wrong file to an email, or sending customer information to the wrong person. All very real possibilities. With DLP, a company can take that threat out of the equation, helping keep data and employees safe.

Be sure to leverage these tips as a starting point to create and encourage a culture of security — and you will be well on your way to ensuring a more secure work environment.