The workplace is increasingly becoming a digital environment everywhere all over the world: physical offices are now digitally interconnected, and remote workers working from halfway across the world is now a common practice in various companies.
With this digital interconnectivity, a lot of confidential information and valuable data are being transmitted every single day, making workplaces a lucrative target for cybercriminals attempting to steal this data.
Meaning, workplace cybersecurity is now a very important concern and is not only the responsibility of the management but all employees. Below, we’ll discuss some important tips to keep your workplace safe online and let us begin with the first one.
1. Secure Your Physical Location
When discussing today’s workplace security in this digital age, too often we put too much focus on data privacy and cybersecurity.
However, securing your physical workplace is just as important. No matter how advanced your digital security infrastructure is, it’s game over if hackers can physically access your server.
Nowadays, physical workplaces might be split between multiple locations and remote work is increasingly becoming the norm. Make sure to secure all devices no matter where your office is located, including educating remote employees on how to physically secure their devices.
This will include making the practice of securing devices like smartphones with strong passcodes or biometric security mandatory, as well as hiring the required security manpower to secure servers and other physical devices when needed.
2. Educating and Training Your Employees
No matter how advanced your security infrastructure is, your workplace security is only as strong as the least security-aware employee in your company.
Human errors remain the top cause of data breaches and other cybersecurity issues, so it’s very important to educate your employees on cybersecurity best practices and signs of cyberattacks like phishing. Cybersecurity training should be made a part of onboarding new employees, and the training should be updated regularly to stay relevant to new trends in cyber attacks and data security.
Above, all, it’s very important to educate employees to always use strong and unique credentials:
- Passwords should be at least 10 characters long
- Use a combination of uppercase characters, lowercase characters, numbers, and symbols
- Unique, only use one password one time for one account
- Implement 2-factor authentication whenever possible
Using password managers can significantly help employees to ‘remember’ complex and unique passwords for all their accounts.
3. Protect Your System From Malicious Bots
The majority of cyber attacks nowadays are made possible with the help of malicious bots. Hackers, for example, may use bots to perform brute force attacks and credential stuffing attacks in an attempt to steal your employee’s accounts.
Even worse, today’s malicious bots are so sophisticated in mimicking human behaviors like non-linear mouse movements and randomized patterns. Bot designers have also adopted the latest technologies, including AI, to mask the bot’s identity for example by rotating between thousands of different residential IP addresses.
With that being said, it’s very important for businesses to invest in a bot management strategy that can effectively detect bot activities as well as differentiate between good bots and bad bots.
Meaning, you and your employees can focus on your core competencies and let the bot management solution defend your system without needing any human intervention.
4. Update Everything Regularly
It’s a very crucial practice to keep everything in your system up-to-date: OS, software, web browsers, APIs, and so on must always be updated with the latest patches. Software manufacturers release these updates for a reason, and you should especially pay attention if the update is a security fix.
When a software solution is patched, then the security vulnerability fixed by the update is published, and so if you neglect to update your software, hackers can exploit this known vulnerability to access your system, which may end up compromising your whole system and network.
Also, you should regularly update your security software like anti-malware protection, firewall, and other solutions. They are frequently updated to respond to new cyber threats, and you wouldn’t want to suffer from new malware just because you forgot to update your antivirus.
Ideally, all software solutions must be updated as soon as updates are made available, but if it’s not possible, maintain a general schedule to update everything at least once a week.
5. Protect Your Employees from Phishing
Phishing and similar forms of social engineering attacks are pretty serious threats, and according to the FBI, phishing remains the most common form of cyber attacks throughout 2020.
A phishing attack can come in various different forms, but typically it’s in the form of a seemingly legitimate email impersonating an individual or reputable business you know, tricking the recipient to download an attachment, click a malicious link, or even submitting credentials and confidential information.
It’s very important to educate yourself, management, and all employees about the dangers of phishing. A general rule is to never provide personal or confidential company information to unknown/unconfirmed email senders, pop-up webpage, seemingly legitimate forms, and so on. If any email/text/website asks for your credentials and personal information, educate employees to ask IT, security, or their supervisor first.
6. Firewall Protection
A firewall is often the first line of defense against various cybersecurity threats. You should have a proper firewall to protect your workplace network, and for those working from home, you should make the practice of using a firewall mandatory.
Firewalls essentially prevent an outside party from accessing your online resources and are very important even for home networks. For those working from home, ask your company if they provide a proper firewall solution.
Workplace security and keeping your confidential data safe online are now very important concerns for many businesses. Having the right knowledge is a great start to protect your company from various security threats, and thus it’s very important to train and educate your employees on cybersecurity best practices.
Encourage safe online behavior for all employees, and make sure your IT and security departments are always accessible when all employees encounter anything suspicious.