Between business and personal lives, people are online day and night. The Internet is a vital piece of our lives, but so much time online means vulnerabilities to malicious actions. In fact, the cost of global cyber-crime is expected to raise to $6 trillion annually by 2012. To help protect your business from potential cyber loss, follow these steps to secure all electronic communication:
Cyber Security: The Same Page
In order to maintain a seamless flow of security protocols, it’s important to keep all key stakeholders of the business on the same page. Key stakeholders include everyone from the CEO/CFO level to a board of directors, employees and support staff, cyber security team and even general counsel. It’s important that everyone communicating about sensitive information within the company is well aware of the proper protocols.
Cyber Security: Policies/Protocols
Before developing policies to protect electronic communication, have a cyber security team accomplish a risk assessment on the business. Once risks have been spotted, develop a policy to act more securely. Take into consideration who should have access to what information and who will manage the oversight of policy adherence. The policies should be detailed and cover everything from access control to security risk management, awareness and training to physical security and beyond.
Cyber Security: Passwords & Multi-Factor Identification
Ensuring all employees obtain and use complex passwords is important for cyber security at a base level. For better security defenses, put multi-factor identification protocols in place. Identifying yourself in more than one way to gain entry to business applications is a simple way to add effective security measurements. In this day and age, the average person has 27 passwords to remember. To help simplify lives and increase the use of better passwords, invest in a SSO (single sign-on) software. Biometric authentication as well as email encryption will also go a long way to ensuring employees are practicing thorough security measures.
Cyber Security: Educate!
Security risks are often brought into companies via unaware employee actions. Train all staff to avoid links from unknown or questionable sources. Learning about phishing scams, phone scams, survey scams, and other ways malware and hackers slip through the cracks is important for ensuring careless mistakes don’t happen. Keep training concise and clear with plenty of real world examples.
Cyber Security: Keep a Watchful Eye
Monitoring staff login times is a great way to establish normal and unusual behavior. Some security programs and cloud providers are equipped with tools for monitoring, making it easy to keep a watchful on the patterns of employees and pick out when something is off.
Cyber Security: No Public Wi-Fi
The largest risk is an open public hotspot. Cyber criminals can use a very similar hotspot name to lure users into their network. Once attached to this hotspot, the user can be targeted with malware or hacking. Implement a “No Public Wi-Fi” rule for employees with business devices. In the case of necessity to use a public hotspot, take every possible precaution including VPN, not entering websites where sensitive information is accessible, and keeping software up to date.
Cyber Security: Smartphone Discipline
Smartphones and other mobile devices on their own are a risk. Conversations can be heard, or recorded with or without the user knowing. To keep extra safe, ask that all employees refrain from transferring sensitive business information over their cell phones. There are secure safe applications that can also be downloaded for text messages and emails, for when communication is a must.
Most importantly, keep up to date with the latest in cyber security and stay vigilant. Ensuring secure electronic communications means staying one step ahead of malicious players and two steps ahead of user end mishaps!
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