We’re in the midst of a dizzying digital age, which means that it’s now more important for companies to emphasize data security and sound information practices than ever before. Despite the importance of technology and sound data practices in today’s market, however, many businesses are finding themselves getting left behind when it comes to teaching their employees what they need to know about data privacy and information security.
Here’s what your employees need to learn about data privacy, and some of the methods that you can rely upon when it comes to equipping your workforce with the skills they need to survive and thrive in the 21st-century economy.
Data privacy isn’t just for your IT pros
One crucial lesson that too many business owners and managers are failing to learn is that data privacy isn’t just for your IT team. Where information security was once the realm of the tech gurus, it’s now something that every employee needs to be briefed on if your company wants to keep its data secure. After all, we’ve seen a serious surge in the number of data breaches occurring across the global marketplace recently. If your business isn’t teaching everyone about data privacy practices, you’re probably vulnerable to an outside intrusion yourself.
Luckily, teaching your workforce about IT security isn’t hard nor costly in today’s economy. Digital tools exist to make training exercise a breeze, and today’s tech-savvy population is more familiar with the intricate software and hardware they’ll need to keep your company’s info safe than previous generations. Nonetheless, if you want to teach your employees about data privacy, you need to start slowly and work in incremental steps that emphasize the importance of transparency in your data operations.
Consumers are increasingly concerned about privacy protection, after all, meaning companies that want to keep the trust of their customers need to invest in sound data practices that prevent data breaches from happening in the first place, and not just place a cookie banner at the bottom of their website. One of the easiest ways that you can help reassure a concerned public is training each of your employees in basic tech literacy and information security protocols. So, how exactly should you begin teaching your team the skills it will need to remain relevant in a rapidly changing and digitally-dominated workplace?
You must harness the power of incentives when teaching your workers about IT security. That’s because companies are quickly discovering that rewarding employees who make good data decisions are more effective than punishing those who make mistakes. Make a model of your stellar employees, and include financial rewards for workers who become certified in information security practices or complete training regimes, and you’ll see positive results in no time.
Data privacy has to come from the top down
You shouldn’t get too focused on your team alone, however – if you’re serious about data privacy, you should begin from the top down. After all, if your senior leadership figures in the legal team aren’t taking data privacy seriously, why should your everyday employees? Executives who are responsible for shoddy IT practices need to be held accountable, and innovative ideas about how to improve company data practices should be rewarded no matter where they originate.
Check out the incentive-based strategies that the tech-savviest companies today are relying on when it comes to teaching their employees better digital literacy skills, and you’ll see how you can make reforms in your own business in no time. Of course, this may entail some significant investment on your part; if you want your employees to take information security practices seriously, you’ll need to get them the right tools for the job, and those can be expensive. A failure to meaningfully invest in your IT infrastructure is the easiest way to demonstrate to your workers that you’re not particularly serious about data privacy or information security in general.
Above all else, you must instruct your employees about the weakest aspect of any company’s digital security infrastructure – humans. Time and time again, it’s been proven that humans are simply the chink in our digital armor when it comes to preventing data breaches. If your workers don’t know how to spot information phishing attempts or avoid malware, it’s only a matter of time until your network’s security is compromised. If you haven’t already, you should consider enrolling your employees in digital training programs that can help them sharpen their IT security skills.
Finally, learn to keep your IT operations flexible. That’s because today’s innovations in IT security will themselves be rendered obsolete in a few months. In the world of data privacy, disruption is the only constant. Stay on your toes and constantly keep your IT infrastructure updated, as relying on old ways of keeping yourself secure is the surest route towards an IT crisis.