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Of all the cybersecurity tools, tricks, software, and processes, none is more important than employee training. It must always be at the heart of your cybersecurity plan. That’s because no amount of cutting-edge technology can protect you from the one thing that is out of everyone’s control: human behavior. If you’re just starting out with a cybersecurity training plan or you already have one in place, keep these tips in mind as yours evolves.

Create an IT policy handbook

A company’s IT policy is a set of guidelines that describe how the organization plans to tackle various technological eventualities. They communicate the vision and values of a business and inform workers what to do in certain circumstances, like environmental emergencies or a workstation getting hacked. Make sure you have a handbook of your IT policy that you share with every new employee, regardless of their position in the company. This IT policy handbook must be provided to everyone—from the CEO to the newest intern. Also, ensure this handbook is consistently updated. IT is evolving at great speed and your handbook must keep up. Don’t have a formal IT policy that covers your company’s unique needs and goals? This is the foundational step that every company must take to stay cybersecure. Contact an IT services provider immediately if you feel you need guidance or help with best practices.

Make cybersecurity training a part of your official training initiatives

At a minimum, cybersecurity training must be a part of your company training plan for all new employees. It’s also extremely important to conduct refresher sessions at a regular cadence—say, once or twice a year—to ensure that your existing employees are up to date on the latest cyberthreats. At the end of the training session, conduct tests, mock drills, and provide a certification exam. Good training includes assessment, so make sure you provide follow up training for those who need it. This strong emphasis on training will ensure your employees take cybersecurity seriously. Creating, conducting, and analyzing cybersecurity training plans is part of what any decent Managed Service Provider (MSP) should offer you. So if you need help staying creating an actionable plan and staying informed of developments that need to be added to it, contact one as soon as your IT policy is squared away.

Day zero alerts

According to Wikipedia a zero-day (also known as zero-hour or 0-day or day zero) vulnerability is an undisclosed computer-software vulnerability that hackers can exploit to hack into computer programs, data, additional computers, or a network without any alerts. It’s known as a “zero-day” because it is not publicly reported or announced before becoming active, leaving the software manufacturer with zero days to create patches or advise workarounds. And since every day cybercriminals are finding new vulnerabilities to exploit and new methods to steal your data or to hack into your system, day zero alerts are a great way to keep your employees updated. Has a new security threat been discovered, or an important plug-in released for the optimal functioning of a browser? Send an email to everyone spelling out clearly what the threat is and what they can do to mitigate it. Then, follow up to verify they took the necessary steps. MSPs who know what they’re doing have a communication plan in place that alerts clients when a new threat is identified so you don’t have to do the research yourself.

Transparency

Let your employees know who to contact in the event of any IT-related challenges. It’s vitally important that users have a knowledgeable resource that they can go to even for the simplest issues. That’s because a well-meaning employee who’s troubleshooting on the internet for a solution to something as simple as a zipping up a file could end up downloading malware accidentally. Not to mention addressing the issue without understanding if the solution they find could impact your systems. Giving your staff a dedicated expert helps keep staff members from going rogue and installing, fixing, or deleting something that’s against your IT policies.

Do it right from the start

One of the heavy costs associated with small business operations lies in doing the same thing more than once. Of course, there are always operational processes that need to be revised but starting off with the best possible footing will help protect you from having to do the exact same processes over again from start to finish. In the long run, it will save you money to consult a expert in IT policies, planning, training, and disaster response as you build them. Contact us if you’d like to chat about your company’s current technical landscape and your security goals. We can help you create a fully comprehensive plan that’s easy to activate and manage. Just reach out.