Empowering your staff to become your frontline cybersecurity defence

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Our mental health and wellbeing have a big impact on our working lives. If we are generally unhappy, facing isolation, loneliness or other causes of anxiety, our professional performance is sure to suffer. On the flipside, if our job is creating unmanageable levels of stress, our social and family lives will endure negative repercussions.

The pandemic has forced many professionals to work from home, away from peers and specialised support networks, and for some, this type of working arrangement has negatively impacted their mental health.Unfortunately, a stressed or anxious employee is much more susceptible to cyber-attack.

Cyber security specialists at Barracuda have identified human error as the common denominator across all successful online attacks.

“With businesses embracing hybrid work in the new normal, protecting mental health at the workplace and defending employees against emerging cyber threats are more important than ever,” said Andy Simko, Product Manager, Barracuda. “Distracted employees can be an easy target for attackers. That’s why it’s important for businesses to provide employees with up-to-date security awareness training and ensure they can recognise the latest attacks and know how to report them to IT right away.”

The other connection between mental wellbeing and cyber security is the overwhelming feeling of guilt and angst that can result from an online breach. In a common scenario, an employee clicks on an email link that looks genuine, only to discover that they have been targeted by a phishing attack. This tiny oversight can expose a whole network to a ransomware strike that could potentially cripple an entire company’s data and operations for weeks. The stress that can result from such an act can lead to extreme levels of anxiety. The employee responsible can often be fearful that their very livelihood is at stake and feel sick at the damage being done to their company.

“We encourage organisations to be on the front foot when it comes to protection. Staff must be trained, educated, and supported along the way. They must be motivated and engaged. The threat posed by online criminals never sleeps, and this can be confronting and disturbing on a personal level when the correct protocols and procedures are not in place”, said Danielle Watts, Sales Director Victoria, Trident.

As businesses embrace hybrid work arrangements that allow employees to contribute from anywhere and at any time, we must remain vigilant and appreciate that security must be solidified around the clock.

Key areas of consideration should be:

  • Backup files regularly. Daily backups should be an integral part of your business’ cybersecurity strategy.
  • Hold a variety of passwords for each program used and never give out your password. Ensure that your password is complex, unpredictable, unreadable, and obscure to avoid getting compromised.
  • Enable two/multi factor authentication where possible. Twofactor authentication makes it harder for hackers to gain entry to your valuable business data.
  • Keep operating systems and programs up-to-date, especially anti-virus, endpoint detection and recovery tools.
  • Be wary of phishing links and buttons in emails, it’s how breaches first start, so ensure that an email is legitimate before you click on anything.
  • Turn on alerts for any suspicious activity.

Education remains paramount to the prevention of cybercrime. Cyber awareness training is an important step in making this possible and leads to the adoption the above essentials. We believe the best defence incorporates a team of well-trained, focused employees who rigorously follow security protocols and have access to the necessary support.

Contact Trident to find out how we can help you to take all the precautions and preventive measures possible to minimise the risk of cybercrime impacting your business.

1. Remote Workers Report Negative Mental Health Impacts, New Study Finds

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