The Garden State has had its share of data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other cybersecurity horror stories. Here are two of the well-known ones:
- 2017 Equifax data breach — The single largest data breach of 2017 happened to the multinational consumer credit reporting agency. In March, an Equifax employee failed to apply a patch to a vulnerability in their network’s software. This allowed attackers to access the company’s database that contained the personal data of millions of people. By the time Equifax reported the breach in September, the attackers had already stolen the personal information of 147 million Americans, of which 14 million were New Jersey residents.
- 2019 Hackensack ransomware attack — In December 2019, 17 hospitals under New Jersey’s largest hospital network, Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH), reported “IT disruptions” that delayed lab work results, locked out doctors and nurses from their patients’ records, and disrupted the rescheduling of non-emergency surgeries. Only after two days and an investigation by a third-party cybersecurity firm did HMH announce that ransomware had crippled their network.
Both companies could have prevented their losses had they trained their employees on cybersecurity best practices.
Why is it important to train New Jersey employees on cybersecurity?
It seems New Jerseyans have learned their lesson from their experiences with Equifax, HMH, and other hacks. New Jersey is now one of the five least risky states in terms of cybersecurity, according to a Wakefield Research research done from January to February 2020.
But this doesn’t mean we can relax our guard. Every day, cybercriminals are finding new ways to exploit human weakness to access systems, because it’s easier to fool a human being than a computer program. After all, how can employees prevent a phishing or malware attack if they don’t even know what to look out for?
What security topics should you cover during your employees’ training?
The following are must-have topics for your employee cybersecurity training:
- The various kinds of cybersecurity threats — Your employees need to know the many cybersecurity threats out there so they can identify and prevent such threats from succeeding. They should familiarize themselves with malware, social engineering, phishing, and spam emails, among others.
- Why password security is paramount — Cybersecurity begins with passwords. Security experts acknowledge that while it’s easy to hack passwords, they still provide an important layer of protection. It’s important that employees choose a strong password that combines letters, numbers, and symbols. In crime, time is of the essence, and having a strong password will help impede criminals from hacking your device or your system.
- Identifying and reporting cybersecurity threats — Your staff is your organization’s first line of defense. If every one of your employees is security-savvy, you’ll have a formidable human firewall as part of your cybersecurity. They can stop every device or email that may contain a virus, malware, or phishing scam from inflicting damage to your business. Teach your staff how to identify the telltale signs of unexpected errors and attack warnings. Then instruct them on the proper steps on how and whom to report such red flags to.
- Company policies on email, internet, and social media — Emails, websites, and social media platforms are rife with malware and phishing click baits. Your employees’ online habits may expose your company to cyberattacks. Come up with company guidelines and policies on email, internet, and social media use, and integrate them into your security training program.
Why should you partner with us for your employees’ cybersecurity training?
Your small- to mid-sized New Jersey business most likely doesn’t have an IT expert who’s qualified to train your staff. Or if you do have an in-house team, they’re too busy dealing with your day-to-day IT management and maintenance.
It makes sense to partner with a managed IT services provider like Online Computers. Leave it to our IT experts, who are up to date with the latest in cybersecurity, to handle your employees’ training. That way, we all do our part as New Jerseyans to keep our state one of the least risky places to go online.
If your business in Hanover, Morristown, or Madison needs cybersecurity training, or if you want better IT management, contact us today.