While most employees do not realize it, there are many pieces of technology that are in place to help protect them from mistakes, errors, and even hackers attempting to trick them into divulging company secrets. This form of trickery is known as social engineering, and there are criminals and fraudsters that spend their days trying to trick innocent people into becoming their next victim.
At some point in time, almost every employee that has access to email has received a suspicious spam email that includes an attachment or a link to a website that is not-quite reputable. One just needs to look at a security awareness guide to realize how widespread and prevalent this problem is. However, the good news is there are technologies out there that protect well-meaning employees from these dangerous mistakes.
Top Five Protective Measures for Employees
Email Gateway Filters
Email gateway filters are the first line of defense against these miscreants. An email filter will automatically parse messages before they reach the employee’s inbox. This first pass can remove attachments that have viruses embedded in them and strip dangerous links before an employee can accidentally click on them.
Antivirus software provides a baseline of protection for devices by detecting and attempting to stop known-malicious files from doing damage to the system. If an employee accidentally opens a known-malicious file, the antivirus can help prevent their device from being infected and prevent the infection from spreading to other devices on the network. Unfortunately, antivirus software only works once the virus is inside the internal network.
DLP is short for Data Loss Prevention. There are several different products that fall into this category. Some products can prevent USB drives from being accessed by the local system. Others can prevent sensitive documents from being printed, emailed, or saved to different devices. All of these products work to keep devices secure and prevent sensitive data from being misused. These products work to prevent mistakes from becoming security incidents by protecting the data from inadvertent actions that could have costly consequences.
Password management is the unsung hero of employee protection. To put it briefly, password management helps ensure that user passwords are not easily guessed and are changed on a regular basis. This helps protect employees by making it more difficult for hackers to break into the accounts and ensuring that passwords are only good for a limited amount of time.
Awareness training is simply the best way to protect employees when using technology. All of the technical safeguards listed above can be circumvented by a savvy criminal using social engineering. Awareness training gives employees the tools they need to be able to identify when someone is attempting to social engineer them into divulging passwords and sensitive data. By utilizing awareness training, employees can stay one step ahead of the criminals that devote their time and effort to circumventing controls.
Overall when it comes to protecting your business and your employees you can’t be too careful. You have to make sure that you are always doing everything you can to keep everyone safe. Just remember that when it comes to accomplishing that goal technology can be your best friend.