In Part 1 of this series we discussed how employees can often be the weakest link in an organization’s defense against hackers, specifically in two ways. The first is unbeknownst to employees—that is, a hacker may use an employee as a gateway into the enterprise network. Meanwhile, the second, more unfortunate way, is when an employee has malicious intentions and knowingly engages in corporate sabotage.

Now, in the second part of this series, we’d like to focus specifically on how employees can become a weak link in an organization’s defense plan, and how businesses can actively protect their networks by educating their internal staff about cybersecurity. After all, employees certainly play a vital role when it comes to continually protecting the enterprise network. By continually educating staff on network security best practices, an organization can better protect its brand reputation and ensure the integrity of its data.

Having said this, below are three simple yet impactful considerations your organization should think about when it comes to network security education and training:

Not every employee needs to be a tech whiz in order to reduce the exposure they present to your company: In the case of the billion dollar bank heist discussed in Part 1, malware that was used came into the network via email attachments to financial personnel. Once the attachment was opened, the malware spread to hundreds of computers. As this example proves, educating your employees on something as simple as knowing how to identify suspicious emails and attachments could make a massive difference for your organization. Ask yourself this question: how much could a security-conscious employee save your business simply by recognizing untrustworthy email attachments?

Consider your employees’ many touch points: Your employees are easy targets for hackers to exploit and compromise your network. With multiple departments communicating via IM, email, phone and other channels using multiple connected devices, hackers have more touch points than ever to breach your network and cause significant damages. Therefore, educate your employees on the security risks their personally-owned devices can pose to your organization. Or, if you feel it best, eliminate them from the office.

Don’t forget to train your IT staff, too: Ensuring your IT staff is up to date on existing threat and vulnerability trends will reap dividends. It’s important, therefore, that organizations dedicate time to training qualified IT personnel on emerging hacking trends, which are continually growing in sophistication, so these employees can effectively lead their overall network security strategies. Additionally, it’s important that your organization implements the right network monitoring and management technology, and that your staff has a solid understanding of how to utilize the technology.

At the end of the day, 74 percent of security professionals believe their organization will be a target for hackers this year— many of those professionals feel they are prepared for a breach attack. It’s important to remember that reaction is not response. For more information on our solutions, click here.