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Top 6 Ways Employees Can Compromise Your Cyber Security

Security incidents, on average, cost SMBs an average of $7.68 million per breach. Needless to say, most of these incidents are caused by human error. If there’s a weak link in the cybersecurity chain that stubbornly refuses to be plugged, it would be human error. For instance, 54% of healthcare business associates say their top vulnerability is tied to employee negligence in handling patient information. While much of the attention in security breaches tends to go towards big, bad malicious hackers or bitter insiders, the truth is actually more boring. Most cybersecurity risks tend to arise from boring old human error ranging from unintentional mistakes and compromises to a complete lack of awareness of security protocols.

Sometimes, companies simply don’t have the requisite security protocols in place or they aren’t properly enforced. All of these leads to cyber criminals aggressively targeting individuals over companies in order to carry out highly damaging cyber attacks against business organizations. Unlike computers, people have a trusting nature and they are easier to fool or otherwise take advantage of. Cybersecurity New Jersey can help your company put strong cyber security defenses in place to prevent data leakage.

Business Cyber Security

In this article, we will focus on the various ways hackers can attempt to steal sensitive data credentials or upload malicious programs and software into your network.

Leaving your electronic devices unattended

You could forget your laptop or your smartphone in your car or leave it on the table as you wait in a queue at the coffee shop. There are a million ways in which we leave our devices unattended during the day. What we don’t realize is that this seemingly harmless practice can put our entire corporate network and data at risk. It’s only after the device is stolen that many of us remember that we forgot to deploy the privacy settings and all of our data stored on the devices, private or otherwise, are now at the mercy of the thieves.

Use of Weak or Repetitive Passwords

No matter how many security breaches manage to make it to the headlines of local newspapers, most of us are yet to get rid of our habit of using passwords repeatedly or using weak ones such as the ones that use consecutive keystrokes – 12345. Weaker passwords or the ones that are repeated are easier to remember and no one wants the additional headache of remembering all their passwords. Most of us are too lazy or not technically savvy enough to find technical workarounds of having to remember all our passwords. However, technical solutions exist and your company administrators will thank you profusely for using strong passwords and updating them regularly. By securing password usage you are not only protecting the company, but also your own data and security practices.

Ignore company security programs

IT staff and CISOs are often pulled in a thousand directions, and stretched beyond their capacity. This often leads to lackadaisical or irregular enforcement of security programs, even if the right policies are in place. Employees need patient hand holding, repeated reminders, and security practices built into their daily routine so they don’t have to think twice about adhering to security protocols. This responsibility lies squarely on the conscientiousness and diligence of your IT staff and CISOs in making security as easy as pie for employees. They should always have quick links to security policies, lots of reminders and “how to’s,” on hand and actually be able to understand and use the information.

Use of Free public Wi-Fi Hotspots

There is nothing that makes people grin happily as easily as free Wi-Fi. The problem with that is public Wi-Fi is Vanderbilt to a humongous amount of security risks and you should avoid doing any sort of sensitive transaction while on public Wi-Fi. Unless there is a desperate need, you should not be connecting to the company network at all while on public Wi-Fi. This applies for even mundane tasks such as sending emails, or just accessing a file for offline usage after. While public Wi-Fi may seem to enhance your productivity on the road, you are putting yourself and your entire company’s data and network at risk in order to do so. The risks can range from hackers spying on your sensitive communications, data theft and distribution of malware. For a fuller understanding of security risks, please consult IT Support New York.

Falling prey to Phishing and Malicious Email

Social engineering attacks have become the bread and butter of hackers. This is because these kinds of attacks are so successful in duping employees into compromising business network security. All the hackers need to do is to prompt your employees to open an email or an attachment. If successful, that one single act is enough to infiltrate entire corporate networks. Phishing attacks are generally orchestrated through fraudulent emails to random or highly targeted users. This could contain links that may lead employees to spurious websites asking them to fill-in data forms with sensitive information or download attachments that immediately infect their system with malware or virus that can then spread through the entire network. The only way to combat phishing effectively is through thorough and regular security training programs that teaches employees to recognize red flags and know their mandated response in case they find themselves in a critical situation. They must know what to do, who to approach, when and how. Managed IT Services New Jersey can help you implement regular and effective security awareness training.

Engage in unsafe or voluminous social media use

The pandemic has only served to enhance user engagement on social media. It’s natural for people to want to keep in touch with other people or just want some form of distraction from boring, routine work. This is what leads to excessive social media usage in the workplace. The problem is that links on these sites cannot be verified using company safety protocols and may contain embedded malware that compromises your network security. Employees who do not have a good hold of security awareness may also inadvertently post sensitive company information publicly. To minimize risks, it may be advisable to prohibit or minimize social networking while connected to the company network unless it’s necessary for work. These rules should be applicable for all company-owned mobile devices and other devices when connected through the company network.

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Chris Forte

Chris Forte, President and CEO of Olmec Systems, has been in the MSP workspace for the past 25 years. Chris earned his Master’s Degree from West Virginia University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He was a past member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a current member of the New Jersey Power Partners and Executive Association of New Jersey, where he has previously served on its board of directors. In his spare time, Chris enjoys traveling with his family. He also admits to being a struggling golfer and avid watcher of college football and basketball. He currently lives in Boonton Township, NJ with his wife, two daughters, son, and black lab Luna.