“But I thought that was the IT department’s job,” you hear murmured from the back of the room. While, yes, ensuring that software and infrastructure is kept up to date and safe falls within the remit of the techies, maintaining safety across the company is a responsibility that should be on everyone’s plate. This becomes all the more important as organisations scale – a teacher can only look after so many pupils’ safety at once, and in the same way an IT professional can only look after so many people’s cyber-safety.

Understanding the threat

When you think of hacking, you immediately conjure up images of hackers sat in dark rooms, their fingers splintering away at a keyboard as they input some elaborate code at breakneck speed. The reality is that the largest threat to your business is the humble phishing email. They arrive in your employee’s inbox full of less-than-legitimate links that then get clicked, and before you know it the floodgates have been opened.

The other leading issues are all as expected, too. Social media use has risen to around 13 hours per week in the office which brings with it huge cause for concern, personal devices are more present than ever before and, of course, so is the stereotypically weak password. When you take a deeper look into why your defences are being breached you will begin to gain a better understanding of what needs fixing – and it’s often simpler than you think.

Educating the masses

There are only two parts of cybersecurity best practices that employees need to remember – what to look out for, and what to do. A clear policy on these matters should outline this explicitly, but as with most content in the staff handbook it’ll likely be forgotten in the not too distant future. Regularly reminding employees, whether that’s in recurring meetings or as part of a development programme that you implement across the business, will ensure it stays front of mind and that your people remain aware of their responsibilities. To start an open discussion in the office, why not introduce them to this game from Google and compare scores.

Ongoing support

As with anything else in the tech landscape, cybersecurity threats evolve over time and they can be difficult to stay on top of. While it’s important to share the load, CIOs and other members of the IT department need to take the lead and make sure other employees and their skillsets are kept up to date to keep the business safe. This year’s top cybersecurity threats are different to those of last year, so keeping tabs on what you and your colleagues should be looking out for is of paramount importance.