Cyber security tips everyone must be aware about as cyber security risk is increasing, driven by global connectivity. Listed down some immensely useful cyber security tips that employees, as well as companies, can hugely benefit from upon active implementation.
There is always a price for development, nothing is perfect and completely immune to exploitation. Technological advancement, for all its wonders, is no exception.
The other, rather dark side of this high tech world is brimming to capacity with equal, if not more, sophisticated and empowered IT experts usually known as cybercriminals.
With every passing day, there is further escalation and variation in nature as well as the degree of cybercrimes. Only last year, the world paid $2 trillion in the global cost of cybercrimes. The targets are no longer only high profile institutions or people, in fact, Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigation Report founded that 70% cybercriminals prefer to target small to medium-sized businesses.
Today, it’s not relevant who or where you are, we are all equally vulnerable to malware attack of one kind or another. Yet, as a countermeasure, people desperately and entirely depend on cyber insurances which partially conceal the human error contribution to data breach cases.
This human error was comprised of 27% of employees that fell victim to cyber-attacks in 2019. Which leads us to the conclusion that people (employees) can be companies’ major security weak link just as they can be the biggest asset.
However, lamenting over things hardly ever solves the problem. What we need to counter the ever-looming threat of cyber-attacks are robust information security training programs such as, CISSP to effectively plan and deploy a vigorous defense mechanism.
Along with some basic tips and techniques that all employees, regardless of their roles and responsibilities, should follow.
We have listed down some immensely useful cyber security tips that employees, as well as companies, can hugely benefit from upon active implementation.
Be mindful of your passwords
While you may think that your pet’s name is incredibly unique, but you should know that it is not adequately strong – or as unique. No offense to your sentiments, but one weak password contains massive destruction potential.
If it happens to be your password that is weak, it will take down not only your employer company in terms of compromised data but almost everyone that the company conducts business with e.g., clients, partners, contractors so on, and so forth.
Always set up a long, strong, and unique (not pet name kind of unique that is plastered all over your social media) passwords that are comprised of a number, special character, and latter fusion.
Integrate Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Sometimes no password is too strong, especially if the hacker at work is exceptionally trained. The best countermeasure at the organizational level is to train a team of professionals with advanced CEH courses available that are teaching unparalleled skills of ethical hacking.
It is necessary to conduct a vulnerability assessment and penetration testing on behalf of a company to locate insecure configuration and operational weakness.
But on an employee level, you should integrate MFA in order to deploy another barrier against the infiltration of your data. Multi-factor authentications build an additional defense layer by combining several independent authorizations like a password, security mark, and biometric verification.
That makes it rather challenging for cyber-criminals to penetrate their targets which includes computing devices, networks, and databases.
Know what & where of downloads
It does not matter which prominent brand’s software, extension, etc., you are downloading if you know nothing about the platform the download is being conducted off.
The naïve perception of safe software download only because they belong to a renowned company needs to be demolished immediately. There are many sites that offer the free download version of otherwise paid digital property and most people end up entertaining the number of malware e.g., adware, trojans, spyware, bugs, worms, viruses, etc., along with the so-called ‘free software’.
Always make sure to use reliable websites and even then keep downloads restricted to specific business machines. In case of unavailability, run your download via an effective spyware program or antivirus before using it. Anti-virus Softwares such as Bitdefender total security can provide safety against viruses, malware, and other unwanted threats.
Be wary of unanticipated emails – phishing scams
We are always reading about the vile intent behind click-bait content but have you ever been subjected to click-bait emails? Particularly, ones that are tailored with a compelling call to action?
If yes, then know that you have been targeted by a malicious hacker masquerading as a trusted person. It is basically called a phishing or social engineering attack that deceives the user through an email or text message.
The aim of phishing scams is to trick a targeted victim into handing over personal data e.g., bank account number, phone or residential information, etc., or organization’s sensitive information e.g., username, passwords, security codes, etc.
If the hackers succeed in their attempt to deceive an employee into granting the access, the data breach can run havoc for a company as well as those associated with the victim company.
To be able to prevent such unfortunate instances, employees should learn to recognize phishing attacks for what they really are. Be wary of the emails that you are not anticipating anyway, but be specifically wary of an email that intends to direct you to a platform requiring login credentials.
It is one of the most frequently used black hat mechanism to steal user information.
Let updates maintain security
Some of you habitually ignore the update notifications and reminders or downright clear away the message from your device. Don’t. There is no more effective way than to disregard the security update to become a sitting duck for the cyber-criminal who wait to prey on human error or sluggish attitude.
Hackers are proficient in identifying and exploiting the vulnerabilities of out-of-date software or system. Updates, system or software, are really important to maintain the security of your device, system, and software.
While it is essential to make cyber security tips a first priority across all levels of an organization, it is also necessary to understand that its complexities are not everyone’s cup of tea. Proper training programs and regular security update sessions about system audit, security, and control can considerably improve the overall protection of an organization and create a culture of safe practices among employees.