Employee training isn’t the end-all, be-all of endpoint security for your business; you need to combine effective endpoint detection and response tools with employee training to create an effective security strategy for your business’s sensitive data. But, that said, people are the biggest point of vulnerability in most systems. That’s because the best threat detection and response in the world can’t completely protect your systems when user behaviors continue to invite threats in.
Your staff therefore has a huge role to play in effective endpoint security. You need to invest the time and effort to train them in best security practices, and make sure they keep their knowledge up to date with regular refreshers. Combine this training with an effective endpoint security tool, and your system will be as safe as it can be.
Why Staff Are Vital to Endpoint Security
One of the biggest misconceptions business owners tend to have about endpoint security is that you can just install an antivirus (AV) program on your system, and you’re protected. The truth of the matter is that endpoint security is more complex than that. An effective endpoint security tool goes so much further than AV software, to provide real-time threat detection and response, tiered data access, user access control, protection from polymorphic malware, data encryption and secure storage, and more.
Your employees are a vital piece of the picture. Their knowledge of cyber hygiene – or lack thereof – could mean the difference between shutting threats out of your system, and flinging wide the doors to let them in. Do your employees know how to identify potential cyber threats? Are you sure your employees are as invested in your business’s endpoint security as you are? Employee training and effective endpoint security solutions can make the answers to both of these questions a resounding, “Yes!”
Train Your Staff in Cyber Hygiene
To shore up the defenses around your company’s data, make sure that all staff receives adequate cyber hygiene training. Make it part of on-boarding new staff, and make sure that staff members receive regular refresher courses as well as information about addressing new and emerging threats. Get everyone involved, so individuals are more cognizant of their own obligations, and more likely to hold themselves accountable for their role in company cyber security. Make sure that everyone on the staff knows about the potential risks to the company if data is compromised, and teach them about the situational awareness they need to use when navigating the Internet.
Establish clear rules for how employees can use company devices and computers, and what they can install or keep on these devices and computers. Educate employees on:
- Strong password practices
- Avoiding suspicious links, attachments, and ads
- Backing up work regularly
- Speaking up if something strange happens to a device or computer
- Regular malware scans for computers and devices
- Confidentiality of system user IDs and passwords
- Appropriate email and Internet use
- Physical security of devices and computers
- Protecting company information
Classify data according to its level of sensitivity, and restrict access to the most sensitive data to those who need it. Make sure this data is encrypted and secured when not in use. Use password-protected screen savers for internal network protection.
Choose the Right Endpoint Security Solution
Staff training is just one part of endpoint security for your business; you also need to choose the right endpoint security tool. Choose a tool that offers scalability and flexibility to protect on-site systems as well as mobile devices. Prioritize threat prevention to block malware and cyberattacks in real time. The best endpoint security solutions are more effective than AV software because they can protect against the newest threats, detecting and responding to threats immediately, instead of months later when their signature databases are finally updated.
Choose a tool with a streamlined user interface and automated threat responses that ease the burden on you and your security team. Agentless detection offers a window on threats to every device on the system, no matter how simple. If possible, employ an integrated solution that works together with other tools in your security arsenal, or one that provides guidance from a dedicated threat detection and response team.
Your staff is a crucial component of your company’s endpoint security strategy. User mistakes account for many of the cyber threats businesses face, but by educating your staff, you can substantially reduce your company’s risk profile.