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~by Kara Masterson~

At a recent conference organized by the Minnesota Better Business Bureau, cyber security experts presented two sobering statistics related to data theft. The first statistic came from the FBI, which reported an increase of more than 250 percent in data theft since 2015. The other figure was the average loss endured by small business owners after a cyber breach, estimated to be more than $7,000 beyond insurance coverage.

Preventing data theft has become an economic necessity for companies in any industry. Identity theft awareness became a corporate trend a few years ago. Information security experts believe that the time has come for business owners to train their employees on digital security standards. To this end, here are five tips to get started!

1. Using Pop Culture as a Training Tool

Television series that feature cyber crime as their main or secondary theme have become very popular in recent years. Employees are bound to be more interested in the basics of cyber crime when they are explained by their favorite television celebrities. The best series in this regard would be Mr. Robot. Others may include select episodes of Halt, Catch Fire and Person of Interest.

2. Learning to Recognize Insider Threats

Businesses that deal with sensitive data are more likely to fall victim to insider attacks. Law firms, for example, are particularly susceptible to insider threats motivated by potential profit, activism, or revenge. Employees are the first line of defense against insider threats. A loyal and well-trained staff would be eager to detect suspicious activity.

3. Going Paperless

A surprising amount of data is stolen from paper documents. A business owner who makes the transition to a paperless office will have no choice but to schedule information security training sessions for staff members who are not used to handling electronic files instead of paper files.

4. Post Security Process Charts

Employees these days tend to be very visual. For this reason business owners and managers should invest in producing large and colorful charts depicting the data security process for maximum understanding. Imagine a chart that shows how data enters the communications as it is challenged by firewalls and antivirus shields. A similar chart could show how data is stored and encrypted.

5. Hiring a Cyber Security Trainer

Using a security awareness training guide is the best action a business owner can take to teach staff about efficient data protection techniques. Following these guides will result in advanced protection techniques such as breach validation, incident manager assignment, documentation, mitigation, and others.

In the end, the best way to avoid data theft is by empowering employees to learn the best ways to prevent it. You definitely want to make sure that you are always doing all that you can to fight against data theft.

Meet the Author: Kara Masterson

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.