How to arm your employees against cyber-attackers

Senior Support Analyst

Fav thing about the office

The relaxed, casual, welcoming yet professional environment.

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up

As a child I wanted to be many things, Doctor, Fireman, Police Man etc. I fell into IT when I was unemployed knowing nothing about it, but found I enjoyed it. IT has since been a 24 year, paid, hobby.

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Shutting the door and turning the music up loud when no-one is at home.

Favourite Holiday

The holiday I have not yet had. My upcoming 25th Wedding Anniversary Party in Ibiza.

Describe yourself in three words or less

Unique, Colourful, Professional.

An interesting fact about me

I am a fully qualified Level 2 Football coach and have coached local teams from the ages of 7 - 18.

Likes

Polish Vodka, Mediterranean foods, Sci-Fi series and movies

Favourite Band

I do not have a favourite band but my preferred music type is Hardcore Dance.

Karaoke Jam

If I did Karaoke it would be torture. I would not want to torture anyone, well almost anyone.

If I had a superpower it would be...

A Genie’s abilities (but not constraints), as this would grant me what I would require in any given situation.

What I do at Q2Q:

The best way to describe what I do is: I provide day-to-day support tasks ranging from the basic to the more complex installations of infrastructure systems.

For example, I could be installing Flash player for one customer, before moving on to implement a new server system (splitting one overloaded server into several separate fully functional virtual servers), with server replication and backup. I also liaise with 3rd party companies in the resolution of issues relating to their products, whether printers or bespoke software applications.

Background and Achievements

I have worked in Retail, made Vertical and Venetian blinds, been an Admin Assistant, before finding I had an understanding of I.T. and enjoying the work that came with that understanding. My I.T. career has led me to work in many different I.T. environments, ranging from schools, to small I.T. support firms, to British Aerospace with CPC, and ultimately Q2Q. Each have had their merits, but I feel that Q2Q is the right company for me, and their aspirations equal my own.

Hobbies and Interests

Online PC games, Star Wars The Old Republic, World of Warcraft, War Thunder Land and Air Battles, World of Tanks and World of Warships. Watching movies, mainly Sci-Fi and Japanese Anime. Taking Rio (my dog) for a walk. Listening to music, and enjoying the odd glass of Vodka.

It’s no secret that employees are the glue that hold businesses together. But – in the words of Spiderman’s Uncle Ben – with great power comes great responsibility, and your staff play an absolutely crucial part in upholding the cyber-security of your company.

There’s no getting away from the fact that employees can be culpable of leaving your SME open to being targeted by hackers – whether that’s through failing to adequately protect their remote devices, using public WiFi networks without VPN precautions or being duped by phishing emails, for example. But rather than seeing them as a weak link in your cyber-defences, it’s far more productive to focus your attention on how your workforce can become an extra layer of security rather than a vulnerability.

So how can you ensure employees are a help rather than a hole in your defences?

·         Prioritise awareness

No one can be held accountable for something they don’t understand or know enough about, so make sure you take the time to get all employees clued-up on cyber-security. Focusing on things like effective password protection and spotting scam emails is a good place to start, as it will help increase awareness of how even the most commonplace processes can harbour threats.

·         Invest in training

Unless you’re a cyber-security expert yourself, it might be worth looking for a reputable training provider to help your team understand how to detect and deter attacks. There are a good number of programmes out there that will help boost knowledge and practical skills within your business – just be sure to do your research and check for testimonials, so you know the investment will be worthwhile.

·         Encourage initiative

As helpful as formal training can be, more often than not it’s bog standard common sense that is the best defence against hacking attempts. Assure your team that if they see something they think is suspicious, they’re probably right. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so if a webpage or email is asking for particularly sensitive data like bank details or to follow a dubious link, encourage them to stop and think before acting.

·         Share responsibilities

It may seem counter-productive, but sharing cyber-security responsibilities amongst your team is a great way of improving accountability, therefore encouraging everyone to take extra care. Staying on top of your defences is an ongoing task, which can become tiresome and time-consuming if left up to one person. Delegating things like implementing password policies and updating anti-malware software will ensure the constant workload is shared more evenly, helping reduce the chance of a potentially catastrophic oversight.

·         Keep it up

If there was a one-step solution to securing your systems against an attack, chances are you’d have implemented it by now. Unfortunately, there is no such trick – keeping your defences working effectively and your employees up-to-date with the latest threats is an ongoing battle, so you need to stay well-armed. There’s no point training your workforce only to have them slide back into risky habits a few weeks later – devise a checklist they can refer back to and schedule refresher sessions to make sure everyone stays on track and is fighting as a unit.

 

If you’re worried about your SME’s cyber-security, why not get in touch to see how our managed IT support services can help you strengthen your defences?

How to arm your employees against cyber-attackers