IT Security: The Importance of Educating Your Employees

Protecting your organization from online threats starts with educating your employees.

The importance of IT Security has been stressed in the media over the past several years. High profile breaches at major corporations have caused even the most non-technical business executive to recognize the importance of security to their organization and their career.

One aspect of IT Security that is often overlooked is the easiest to implement; employee education. When more people have access to company data but are not knowledgeable about information security, this means a higher risk of data and security breaches for your business. Ask yourself, how many of our employees have been trained and educated on how to minimize online threats to your organization?

You don’t want to learn the hard way. Many companies have seen their security threatened by inadvertent user error. Carelessness about employee education can cause unprecedented costs—breaches, hacks, stolen information—to your business.

Training and educating your employees, no matter what size of your business, should be one of your top priorities. Your entire corporation should act as one unit when it comes to safeguarding the security of your systems.

It’s time to train your employees on information security.

Why employees need to be trained

  1. They access corporate data

    Employees access and use the data stored on your systems. You might have a proper access management regimen in place, but it is important to let your employees know about this regimen and why it is required. Employees may mistakenly mishandle sensitive data if you do not let them know about what they can and cannot access as well as the implications of each choice.

  2. New technology like BYOD can cause problems

    For reasons of increasing productivity, many organizations allow their employees to bring their own devices (BYOD) to the workspace and access company network and data. However, employees’ devices are not always as secure as you’d like them to be. Unknowingly, having a compromised device enter your workplace could be quite dangerous for you. Employees must know that just one of their personal devices, if infected with malicious malware, could threaten the security of the entire organization. That’s risky business. As a result, employees’ devices need to be vetted for security.

  3. It eases the pressure on the IT team

    Having employees know about the security concerns related to their workplace and know how they can prevent themselves from exposing their corporation’s network is a good way to delegate the duties related to information security—it helps create an internal system that respects the importance of information security. When employees are informed of the latest online threats and mitigation strategies against them, it helps the IT team manage their work better, for it results in a reduced risk of accidental breaches.

How Employees Can Be Educated

  1. Have a training program

    Having a proper training program can significantly improve the safety and quality of your workplace. An entire organization with employees knowledgeable about securing your business’s data is a strong organization. Consult with your IT team in order to develop a training program.

  2. Spread the word

    Have a monthly security newsletter that informs your employees about the latest online dangers that are out there and what employees can do to protect the company from such threats. Share common mistakes that people make when it comes to information security. Have informative posts about safety and security in high-traffic areas of your work, like break rooms and lounges.

  3. Make security a personal job

    Making your employees aware of the practices and security measures they can adopt to make their home networks and devices more secure is important to emphasize during the training process. If they realize that a disregard towards information security can negatively impact their own lives at home, then they will realize the consequences that can happen at work—just on a much larger scale.

  4. Inform them of the executives’ practices

    Letting your employees know how top executives and the IT team handle information security personalizes the issue, which enables better understanding. Make sure to share news internally when someone prevents an attack that would threaten your organization’s security.

To combat threats to information security, you need to inspire a collective effort with all employees within your organization. The most effective way to protect your organization from online threats starts with educating your employees on how they can help protect the company.