Quick Guide to Training Your Staff to Spot IT Security Breaches

Every business should have a clear training policy in place to ensure that staff not only notices IT security breaches, but also reports them. Due to the spread of global security threats, you are likely to experience some form of security breach during the life of your business, regardless of whether you’re a small or large business.

Here is more information to help you ensure your company is prepared for any IT security breach.

Understanding the Threat of IT Security Breaches:

It’s clear that the best-case scenario is to stop a IT security breach before it occurs. However, this isn’t always possible. Hackers are constantly probing networks for weakness, employees often download malware from fraudulent emails and there are always new vulnerabilities.

At the same time, the threat landscape has rapidly evolved in recent years. New technologies like cloud networks, BYOD and mobility, as well as other fundamental shifts in computing, have not only introduced new threats, but have also made it more difficult to establish a clear perimeter for you to defend against new attacks.

That’s why you should approach network security with the assumption that you’ve already suffered a security breach. With network security, preparing for the worst is key to getting the best results.

Companies Don’t Have the Right Detection & Notification Strategies:

Unfortunately, many companies fail to detect IT security breaches or only when it’s too late. A study by Verizon Enterprise Solution reported that companies discover a security breach due to their own internal monitoring for only 12 percent of incidents. For attacks that target point-of-sale (POS) systems, a whopping 99 percent of attacks are discovered when they are reported from external sources, such as when law enforcement informs a company that their customers’ credit card data has been stolen.

Hackers often deploy techniques known as “low and slow,” which are designed to slowly do damage to your network or company over a period of time to avoid detection.

Lessons can also be learned from some of the biggest hacks in history. For example, the massive Target hack that led to the loss of 40 million credit cards didn’t occur because the hack wasn’t detected, but because Target’s security response team in Minneapolis didn’t respond to warnings issued by Target’s security partners.

Even after the hack was detected, Target used poor practices to inform customers of the breach. The inevitable lawsuits are still ongoing and illustrate the need for effective breach detection and notification practices for every company.

Proper Training Is Key:

If you want to ensure your team is properly trained to detect IT security breaches, considering implementing the following policies and procedures:

  • Assume the Worst: Teach IT staff to assume they’ve already been breached. This will help them move past focusing solely on protecting your networks’ perimeter and move toward reviewing internals, including system logs that can provide forensic evidence of a breach. You should also impalement log monitoring, which will alert you to breaches with email alerts.
  • Risk Assessment: Your security team should perform risk assessments of the network.
  • Ensure Staff Know the Tools of the Trade: Detecting IT security breaches is often about using the right tools. For example, you can discover rootkits, which can give a hacker full control of your network, with tools like chkrootkit. Tools like Tripwire can help you monitor for suspicion file changes that signal a security breach. If you don’t understand how to use these tools, it’s time to get in contact with a managed IT service provider like Dobson Technologies with the right network security experience.
  • Firewall Support: Ensure your staff implements and maintains a firewall for your network. Firewalls are the type of tool that not only detects breaches, but can also prevent breaches from occurring the first place.
  • Ensure Proper Access Controls: Ensure your staff is controlling and filtering traffic through your routers.
  • Antivirus and Malware Updates: Staff needs to be trained to be on top of the latest updates and patches. If they aren’t, there’s a good chance your network will be compromised and you won’t even be aware that it occurred.
  • Install Clear Lines of Communication: You need to ensure proper communication channels and a clear reporting structure. That means setting up a security chain-of-command along and automated alerts if a security breach is detected. If you have an IT security partner you’re working with, you need to ensure they have a record of strong communication and crisis response, like Dobson Technologies.

Dobson provides small business IT support that protects against security breaches, helps detect breaches and successfully removes malware or viruses from your system in the event of a breach.

Proper Notification of IT Security Breach:

It’s also important to train staff to implement the proper notification procedures. In instances where customer financial records are stolen, it’s important that your security team notifies every person affected by the IT security breach. In fact, Oklahoma’s Security Breach Notification Act requires you to do so by law, otherwise you may suffer financial penalties and legal action.

That’s why it’s important to implement a crisis-response team that does the following:

  • Quickly notify customers that their data has been compromised
  • Promptly respond to customer questions about the breach
  • Ensure customers understand how the breach is being resolved and what steps are being taken to prevent further incidents

You should have a clear point person who leads this team and runs crisis-response scenarios to ensure your team knows how to respond.

Ultimately, Dobson Technologies is there to provide training, support and network detection for security breaches. We can train and work with your staff, or you can outsource these duties to Dobson entirely. If you need managed IT support in Oklahoma City, schedule a meeting with Dobson today.