Hiring new team members in 2024? Remember: Your employees are the biggest risk to your organization when it comes to network security. When onboarding a new employee in the context of cybersecurity, business owners should pay careful attention to several key aspects to help mitigate potential risks and ensure a strong security posture. Here are 13 important considerations:
Provide Cybersecurity Training. It is important to consider how much your employees know about cyber security and how much they care when it comes to protecting your business. Provide comprehensive cybersecurity training during the onboarding process as part of your company culture. This should cover security policies, best practices, and potential threats. Ensure employees understand the importance of safeguarding sensitive company and client information. Most breaches come through an employee clicking something they shouldn’t. You should specifically emphasize the risks of phishing attacks and educate employees on how to recognize and report suspicious emails and messages.
Have policies set around access control and permissions. Follow the principle of least privilege, granting employees only the access and permissions necessary for their specific roles. Regularly review and update access levels as needed.
Develop secure device policies. Enforce policies for securing devices, including computers, laptops, and mobile devices. This may include requirements for encryption, strong passwords, and regular software updates.
Consider work from home and remote work guidelines. If employees work remotely, ensure that they use secure connections and follow best practices for remote access. Implement virtual private network (VPN) solutions and consider multi-factor authentication.
Have data protection and handling policies in place. Classify sensitive data and ensure that employees understand how to handle different types of information. Implement encryption for sensitive data, both in transit and at rest.
Implement strong password policies. Enforce strong password policies, including the use of complex passwords and regular password changes. Provide a password management or password storage tool to make these policies easier to follow.
Develop an incident response plan. Ensure that employees are aware of the organization's incident response plan. Provide guidance on reporting security incidents promptly and accurately.
Conduct regular updates on software and manage patches. Emphasize the importance of keeping software, operating systems, and applications up to date. Implement a patch management strategy to address vulnerabilities promptly.
Employ strict physical security measures. If applicable, address physical security concerns. Limit access to server rooms and critical infrastructure and implement measures to prevent unauthorized physical access to devices.
Consider monitoring and auditing employee usage on company devices during work hours – and beyond. Implement monitoring systems to detect unusual or suspicious activities. Regularly audit access logs and conduct security assessments to identify potential weaknesses.
Establish BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Policies.
If employees use personal devices for work, establish clear BYOD policies to manage potential security risks. Consider implementing mobile device management (MDM) solutions.
Follow compliance requirements. Be aware of and comply with relevant industry and regulatory cybersecurity requirements. Ensure that onboarding processes align with these standards.
Cybersecurity threats evolve, so provide ongoing education and training to keep employees informed about new risks and best practices.
Offboard the previous employee with care. Make sure that if the person you are hiring is replacing someone else, that you have disabled the previous employee on all accounts and cut off their access to the network. Leaving an account open and not cutting access to an individual who has left your organization could be detrimental to the security of your business.
By addressing these considerations during the onboarding process for new hires this upcoming year, business owners can establish a strong foundation for cybersecurity within their organizations and foster a culture of security awareness among employees.