Improving Your IT Services in Austin with Employee Security Awareness Training

The majority of security breaches are due to human error. In order to minimize this risk, your business needs to address potential cybersecurity mistakes through an awareness training program. This program will identify areas of weakness and how to respond to them, as well as policies and legal requirements. Employee security awareness training is the protector of both your brand and the Personal Identifiable Information (PII) of your customers. Your IT services in Austin will perform significantly better if your team is on the same page about how to handle sensitive data.

Security Risks to Educate Employees On

Digital security threats consist of:

  • Social Engineering: Social interactions can be used to manipulate someone into performing undesired actions. An example of this is phishing. This is when cyber attackers compromise accounts using email or malicious websites. They do this by requesting employees to click a link or enter their password.
  • Ransomware: This is the most popular threat that targets businesses, and needs to be actively prevented in the first place. When cyber attackers place malicious software on your computer, they demand payment for the restoration of your data. However, they likely won’t even follow through with returning it.
  • Password Security: Protect passwords for your IT services with multi-factor authentication, and warn employees against reusing their passwords. They are an integral part of our digital world. But even the strongest string of characters can be figured out by cyber attackers.

Physical security threats include:

  • Stolen Identification: Just as the monitoring of access is important online, it is equally important when it comes to the office. Be careful that access cards, keys, and IDs don’t end up in the wrong hands.
  • Tailgating: If your company does not have security installed, employees should be extra wary of unauthorized personnel following them into a secure area. They need to be aware of their surroundings and willing to report attempts of tailgating.
  • Clean Desk Policy (CDP): As a best practice to prevent sensitive information from being viewed by unauthorized sources, CDP reduces the risk of security breaches by making employees put away business documents. Your files should be safely stored and your computer should be locked when unattended.

How to Make Security Awareness Training Engaging

There are several options of training styles that you can choose, depending on what is compatible with your business’s culture. For instance, if your team is widespread, online training or phishing campaigns may be the way to go. On the other hand, if your team is all located in Austin, you can participate in classroom-style training or provide visual aid reminders around the office. Whether it is your first time training these employees or your fifth, get them up to date whenever new policies arise or incidents occur. You should also make the training material available at all times. That way, employees can look back at it whenever they need to.

Employees are less likely to retain information if your program is a long, one-off session. There is a lot of information that they need to know about adhering to applicable data privacy regulations. It simply can’t be fully understood in a single sitting. Instead, deliver training in small, digestible doses that fit your employees’ schedules. Because you want the awareness training to stick with them, create content that provides value. It should be relatable to situations they could face. If the information doesn’t seem relevant or isn’t supplied in an immersive way, employees may view training as a waste.

Data Breach Incidents in Texas Hospitals

In September, it was reported that Austin Cancer Centers experienced a data breach that forced them to shut down their IT networks. They had to notify 36,503 patients that their Social Security and credit numbers were exposed, as well as information about their health and addresses. It took Austin Cancer Centers 14 days to identify and release the information. While the networks were offline, the workers manually minimized patient disruption. The workers also had to undergo further security awareness training to ensure that they know what to do if another attack happens in the future.

Texas Lavaca Medical Center endured a similar breach, according to an October new release. Their notification went out to 48,705 patients with potentially exposed Protected Health Information (PHI). A computer forensics firm was able to secure the network, but their investigation came up inconclusive about what exactly was accessed. Luckily, the Electronic Health Records (EHRs) were not breached. There was no reason to suspect that any of the information had been misused. But this showed the hospital that they would be in immediate need of improving their cybersecurity strategy.

 

There is no better time than the present to combat information security breaches, with a team of IT professionals acting to mitigate user risk. Texas Systems Group has been recognized by UpCity as one of the best IT service companies in Austin, as well as nationally. By teaming up with us, regardless of if you are a small business, a healthcare practice, or a high-tech startup, we are committed to providing you with effective cybersecurity solutions. Let’s have a conversation about how the IT services we offer in Austin can best serve your organization.

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