Rent-A-Nerd: Train Your Employees to Reduce Security Risks

NEW ORLEANS – You can have every piece of security hardware in the books: firewall, backup disaster recovery device, and even anti-virus. However, your employees will still be the biggest vulnerability in your organization when it comes to a phishing attack. How do you mitigate as much risk as possible?

Create and Strictly Enforce a Password Policy

Passwords should be complex, randomly generated, and replaced regularly. In order to test the strength of your password go to This is a perfectly safe service sponsored by a password protection platform that tells you how long it would take a hacker to decode your password. 

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When creating a password policy, bear in mind that the most prevalent attacks are dictionary attacks. Most people utilize real words for their passwords. Hackers will typically try all words before trying a brute force attack. Instead of words, use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. The longer the password, the stronger it is. While it’s difficult to remember passwords across different platforms, try not to repeat passwords. This will protect all other accounts in the event of a breach on one of your accounts.

One method we use when creating a password is to think of a favorite phrase and use that instead of an actual word. You can then substitute symbols and numbers in the place of certain letters. Here’s a silly example:

Who dat say they gonna beat them Saints? Black and Gold Forever!

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It would take a computer about 204 million years to crack that password! And think of how much fun you’ll have every time you have to type it.

Train and Test Your Employees Regularly

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Educate your employees on how they can spot a phishing attack. Then, utilize penetration testing (this is a safe phishing attack orchestrated by your IT company to see how employees respond) and how well they do. If employees fall for phishing attempts then send them through training again. We recommend doing this on a quarterly basis to ensure that your employees stay on their toes and you should provide education on the latest attacks. Some of our clients compete with their office mates, which adds a fun spin learning.

Create a Bring Your Own Device Policy and Protect all Mobile Phones

You can safeguard as much as humanly possible on your network, but your employees are all walking in with cell phones. Are they allowed to get work emails on their phones? What about gaining access to the network remotely? Cell phones create a big black hole in security without proper mobile device management and mobile security. We recently offered some suggestions about creating your policy.

Perform Software Updates Regularly

Make sure that your software is up-to-date with all the latest security patches. Holding off on updates means that you’re leaving yourself open to vulnerabilities that have been discovered and addressed.

Invest in Security

Security is not something for cost savings. Home-based hardware is not sufficient, and you, at the very least, need a quality firewall and backup device. Invest in your employee’s training, ongoing security updates, and maintaining a full crisis/breach plan.

In Conclusion

There are two things that aren’t going away in any business: employees and security threats. Make sure that you’ve taken care of everything you can to avoid falling victim to these a phishing attack.


Charlotte Piotrowski creates regular content for Rent-A-Nerd Technology Solutions


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