How to Train Remote Employees on Cybersecurity Awareness

“Cybersecurity” can feel like an obscure term. Especially to the less technologically inclined—and those of us who still find ourselves talking on mute at the start of every Zoom meeting.

It may have been easy to take for granted in a more controlled office setting. But now, as many transition to long-term remote or hybrid work, there are new variables to consider and personal computing habits at play.

It’s important to support and educate teams from afar about how they can best protect themselves online. Keep these considerations in mind when working to train remote employees on cybersecurity awareness.

Be Consistent

Like any habit, developing good computer practices takes time and repetition. Building awareness and knowledge for things like understanding potential scams, using strong passwords, securing a laptop before leaving it unattended, and backing up important data aren’t skills often developed overnight.

Because of this, manage expectations accordingly and make cybersecurity training an ongoing, consistent requirement. Factor it into your onboarding process for new employees and update training materials yearly for current employees to revisit and be tested on.

It might even be helpful to develop an internal cybersecurity campaign. If provided, default company laptops with backgrounds that keep helpful cybersecurity reminders top-of-mind and build a base of FAQ material for employees to reference anytime through a wiki or intranet.

Avoid Over Complicated Jargon

IT is a field full of highly technical concepts and terminology. There’s no harm in exposing employees to some of this but avoid overcomplicating training materials with unnecessary jargon.

Be mindful of your audience. You don’t want to overwhelm employees with intricate dos and don’ts before they even begin to understand why they’re important. This is an easy way to get people to check out and simply go through the training motions without actually learning anything.

Instead, consider explaining concepts by referencing real-life examples. Giving context to abstract terms like “phishing” and “file sharing” helps shed light on not only their meaning but potential impact on operations as well.

Give Employees the Tools They Need to Succeed

You can’t control every action your employees take online but you can minimize the potential effects of bad computer habits. Providing a virtual private network (VPN) for employees to log onto, for example, is a great way to protect teams collaborating remotely. Staples’ Nerds On Site team is experienced in setting up advanced VPN configurations for all of your work system needs.

Additionally, consider tools that can help automate and support online security habits. Software updates, for example, can be automated. As well, tools like LastPass can help employees manage the variety of passwords used across different logins.

Bring in the Experts

As a management team, if you’re not sure where to begin on the cybersecurity training front, look to the experts. Whether you’re mobilizing a workforce or securing the IT system for a brick and mortar business, our Nerds on Site can support your current and evolving needs.

For small businesses, the Security Snapshot is a great place to start. Nerds On Site will dive into the state of operations by evaluating the vulnerability of your email systems, accessibility of company information for sale on the dark web, and more. They’ll provide recommendations tailored to your company’s needs.

Know where you stand and how to address your team’s cybersecurity needs before it’s too late. Get in touch with Nerds On Site to schedule your free Security Snapshot today.

By Staples Canada

October 25, 2021