Complete I.T. Blog

Email security: training your staff to protect themselves

by | Apr 20, 2016 | Archived Articles

As the final line of defence, your employees can make the difference between a failed cyberattack, and a serious security breach. 78% of businesses claim that users are actually their biggest security vulnerability, emphasising just how important it is to properly train employees.

In fact, the only way to increase the chances of a positive outcome is by improving employee awareness and general IT skills. So what do you need to consider when defining email security training needs?

Passwords and network accounts

Staff can become quite complacent when it comes to safeguarding their email logon details. For instance, employees will often swap passwords so that their mailboxes can be monitored whilst on holiday.

Your business must implement and enforce a policy that forbids passwords from being shared, or that mandates a change of system-access password regularly to ensure any shared version is removed soon. You should work with your IT support provider to implement a suitable workaround for these situations.

Handle email attachments with care

Most malware infections enter your network via infected email attachments. Your staff need to learn how to recognise and handle suspicious attachments without opening them, which could release the infection.

Poor spelling, suspicious URLs, and macro-enabled attachments should all sound alarm bells with employees who know what to look out for. Your business should also have an effective anti-virus solution installed at the email gateway, to simplify the process of keeping malware out.

Ask before acting

Upon receiving a suspicious email, employees should not hesitate to ask for clarification. If they doubt authenticity, a quick call to the sender should verify that nothing is amiss. Staff should also be trained in how to quickly scan attachments for malware themselves.

Workers should never feel embarrassed about asking security questions – far better to be over-cautious than to be responsible for a costly network breach. One quick fact check could save your company up to £115,000 – the Government’s estimated cost for an information security failure.

Obtain expert advice

Although your employees can play a part in improving network security, their compliance will not cover all the needs of your business IT. Your business needs a knowledgeable partner who can take over the day-to-day running of security platforms and help train employees to do their part in protecting the business.

Want more information? Contact one of our offices in Birmingham, Bristol, London, Manchester, Oxford, Peterborough, Swindon or Thames Valley!