Last month, we discussed three defenses that your business can take to ensure you and your employees are protected from cybersecurity threats. By keeping an organized, clean desk, recognizing common red flags for phishing attempts, and creating strong passwords, your employees become not only another line of defense but your BEST line of defense. Now, while most teams are working remotely or in a hybrid state – transitioning between the office and home – limiting your employees’ exposure to cybersecurity threats is critical. Here are two more recommendations on how to protect your business and your team. And, if you missed our previous three recommendations, you can access that blog here.
Cybersecurity Defense #4: Protect Your Most Used Tool - Your Phone
They have become such a regular part of our everyday lives, it’s easy to forget that our mobile devices are security breaches waiting to happen. Especially when employees are using their mobile phones more than ever (in the absence of a desk phone, or being able to walk down the hall to another employee’s office), it’s important to protect this device from being a target. There are some obvious no-no’s, such as not having a strong PIN, password, or other security measures to open your phone, however, there are also some lesser-known ways to keep your phone safe. Here are a few other tips you may not have considered:
- Keep Them Clean: Just as your employees are likely sanitizing the outside of their phones, they need to consider sanitizing the inside as well. Phones are mini-computers and files/data can pile up after a while. Use a malware scanner or antivirus program just as you would on a laptop in order to seek and destroy any viruses that may be lingering, especially with Android phones.
- Beware of Free Wi-Fi: It may seem like a great perk to jump on your neighbor’s open Wi-Fi. However, it’s important to know the dangers of accessing an open Wi-Fi network. When you work from an Open Wi-Fi connection, the other network may be logging into your web browser and gaining access to your passwords, emails, etc. When possible, always use a secured network (this also means password protecting your own Wi-Fi, hotspot, or a company VPN or – if necessary – a public VPN from a company you trust.
- Have a Backup For Missing Phones: Eventually, phones become lost or stolen. If not properly secured, anyone who steals or finds your phone will have access to your email, data and more. Have employees immediately report stolen or lost phones so that you and the IT department can temporarily disable access and replace the lost device as soon as possible if it’s not found. Furthermore, make sure to use an MDM (Mobile Device Management) system. This will help secure a mobile device by:
- Enforcing restricted access password/pin/pattern
- Enforce encryption of data storage
- Remote wipe the device if lost or stolen
Cybersecurity Defense #5: Browse the Internet - Smartly
Between malvertising (malicious code disguised to look like an ad), social media scams, and targeting software, when you are searching on the internet, you are opening yourself – and your technology – to security threats. Of course, hackers are becoming smarter every day, so it’s difficult to capture all of the ways that a person could be targeted online, but there are some hard and fast rules that apply to anyone – no matter what type of work they are doing or searching on the internet.
- Check the Security of the Site: Secure sites begin with https:// (unsecure sites lack the “s”). Especially when submitting your credit card information or any other personal data, make sure that you trust the website who you are handing over your personal information.
- Don’t Click Links in Emails: Even if the source was sent to you by a trusted friend or colleague, their account could have been hacked. If you are sent links to another website, don’t click those links directly. Instead, type in the website on your own and go directly to the webpage through a search engine.
- Use the Internet at Work For Work: You and your employees should only visit web sites when you have a business purpose for doing so. Surfing the web to shop for personal items, or other non-business reasons opens your business up to security threats.
At the end of the day, it takes not just one person, but your entire team to limit the risk of cybersecurity threats. However, education and strategic implementation is the starting block for which to successfully begin this path. When you set your team up for success by giving them the tools they need to not only protect their business assets, but their personal assets as well, you are not just securing your business’ overall success, but you are building lifelong trust with each of your employees.
How can CMIT Solutions of Orange County help your team rollout a strategic cyber-security plan? Contact us today.