Information security training for your new hires should be a critical part of their onboarding process. If you’re not careful, you may just be handing the keys to the city to someone you may regret trusting. A big part of that trust should be built on a foundation of education, particularly around data security. Onboarding is your one and only opportunity to make sure your new hires are prepared to manage the information security demands of their new role. Make sure they have the tools and the information they need to succeed.
Here are five ways to improve your onboarding process and create a more secure environment for your team.
Customize Onboarding for the Role
Everyone learns slightly differently. The goal of the onboarding process is not to enforce uniformity in the learning styles but instead to deliver a great first impression and provide other relevant information. You will have the most success in grabbing and retaining the attention of a large audience if the onboarding process incorporates flexibility. This could mean having multiple different delivery mediums such as in-person sessions, online information, onboarding videos, and group sessions versus a more personalized session. Different people will find different parts of the content more appealing to them. It is important that the delivery mechanism is tailored towards that and lets employees go at their own pace.
Reinforce a Security Culture
The increase in cybersecurity concerns calls for an increase in cybersecurity awareness in the corporate sector. Best practices such as these should become second nature to your staff and should be woven into the workplace culture as a whole. It takes focus and effort every day to make sure you and your employees are making the right decisions when it comes to your digital security. But a strong security culture can help support that effort more than any software program or un-guessable password. Sharing the knowledge needed to educate employees about the risks involved with cloud storage, data security, and malware protection, partnered with taking the necessary precautions to protect the security of the company is the first step toward building a strong culture of security.
Provide the Right Tools and Information
Onboarding processes provide a great opportunity to present relevant information to new employees and make them productive members of the organization. Don’t overlook this vital opportunity to provide the right tools and information that a new hire will need to be successful within the role. Whether that’s arranging for IT to get them set up properly with a connected workspace, or making sure they have all the software and devices they need to do their job, your new hires are counting on you to help them get started.
Teach Smart Data Management (Both Online and Offline)
Accessing files remotely can expose your company and your data. Make sure you and your staff know how to work on the road without exposing your company to any unnecessary risks. Keep software and hardware up to date and fully functional. Avoid logging on to the corporate intranet when connected to a questionable network or hot-spot. Don’t allow employees to use unprotected devices or download unnecessary or unapproved apps or software programs. Make sure that when employees are out and about their work computers are protected in case of theft or damage. Make sure that your team is not exposing your data to theft, hacking, or worse, when they are on the road or at home. This requires a strong cyber-security policy and regular enforcement of rules.
Remember that Strong Passwords Are Your Best Defense
Large data breaches are often linked back to negligence in password protection. There are a number of common mistakes that can have serious consequences when it comes to protecting online information. The repeated use of passwords across multiple different accounts and the use of easily guessed passwords is still one of the top entry points for hackers to gain access to personal or sensitive information. Using strong passwords should be a top priority. To make a password that is both difficult to guess or hack but easy to remember, try using a phrase style password, but only use the first letter or number of each word. The key is to avoid creating passwords with recognizable words as those are easy to guess or hack.
Of course, avoid passwords such as 123456, birthdays, names, common words, and anything with the word “password” in it. These passwords are easily guessed and can result in loss of data, identity theft, or corporate espionage. Also remember to change passwords frequently to make sure that they are that much more difficult to guess.