Common Workplace Cybersecurity Mistakes
Though most cybersecurity threats in movies and television are depicted as coming from a stranger hiding in a dark basement, the reality is much different. There are tons of workplace cybersecurity mistakes that cause the majority of company breaches.
Let’s talk about some of the most common workplace cybersecurity mistakes. We’ll also share some ways to prevent and manage these potential problem areas.
Password Sharing and Access Monitoring
Controlling which employees have access to your network data is crucial in mitigating workplace cybersecurity mistakes and misuse. We all know how it goes. One person in the department needs access to a specific database or tool, and it’s easier for a colleague or manager to just put in their own access credentials or give the information to the person who needs it.
This happens all the time because many employees don’t realize the potential harm that can be done. By not requesting access through proper channels, it’s easier for multiple users to sneak in under another individual’s access and either intentionally or accidentally expose the system to viruses, malware, and more.
There are several ways you can work on access control and decrease password sharing practices.
First, if an employee needs access to something, they need to request access through the proper channel. That could be the IT department, their manager, or someone higher up the ladder. And that request needs to be handled in a timely manner. The longer you let an access request sit unanswered, the higher probability that person just asked someone else and gained access through another’s credentials.
Another way to decrease workplace mistakes in this area is to use two-factor authentication wherever it can be enabled.
And thirdly, almost every business has part of their workforce performing duties on their personal devices or remotely. You should speak with your IT department or provider about tightening up access controls when it comes to letting people access your network from outside of your business or offices.
Lastly, a big part of access monitoring and password safety comes from providing your employees with quality cybersecurity training.
Clicking on Unsafe Links
Workplace cybersecurity is ever-evolving. The threats against your business change rapidly, and your staff likely doesn’t know about these changes if they aren’t being communicated by IT professionals.
Phishing is still one of the most popular ways hackers infect business networks. Phishing emails are becoming more sophisticated and harder to differentiate between them and legitimate emails.
There are many ways to shut down phishing attempts, but it’s another area of workplace cybersecurity that involves all employees, not just IT.
Recognizing a phishing attempt is the key to keeping suspicious websites, attachments, and other corrupt technology off your networks. You should create resources your employees can read or watch to help them learn how to recognize suspicious content.
For example, many IT professionals educate employees with specific tips and tricks.
If you aren’t expecting an email from a specific coworker or manager, reach out to them via chat or phone to confirm the email and any attachments or links were in fact sent from them.
If someone from your company (even the owner or CEO) emails you a request to buy gift cards, send a check, or pull money out and send it to someone, talk to the requesting party in person. If managing funds is a common part of their role at your company, establish some layers of confirmation that have to be communicated before any of the funds are touched.
This can include creating a specific process for requesting the funds (via email, request form, certain apps, etc.) and making sure you are tracking or saving all requests somewhere in case an erroneous one slips in there. You can even set up specific code words for requests that involve important data or financial assets.
The Role of Cloud-based Collaboration in Sharing Sensitive Data
Cloud-based collaboration tools have changed the way we do business. Since the pandemic, more and more of your workforce is using these channels to communicate all information, from personal greetings to complicated project discussions and the sharing of sensitive data.
One of the best ways to mitigate the sharing of sensitive data in cloud collaboration portals is to instruct your teams on when and where it is appropriate to share sensitive data.
You can, for instance, keep your sensitive data in a secure location on your company servers. When your teams need to discuss that data, rather than simply typing or copying it to your Slack or Microsoft Teams chat thread, you can encourage them to share the file and data location instead. This removes the sensitive data from the programs and technology that are statistically harder to protect from breaches.
So a message with lots of sensitive data like:
“Please use Company X bank account number 1234567 to cut a check for $1,000 to cover Jenna and Mark’s hotel stay at the XYZ Corporate Conference”
can become a message with virtually zero sensitive data, like:
“Please take a look at Column A & B in the “2022 Conference Expenses” document and follow the instructions there to ensure we have reimbursed the staff members who are attending.”
Discourage team members from sharing links or screenshots of sensitive data in the chats as well. You can also delegate certain operations conversations to more secure platforms whenever possible.
Verve IT – Solutions for Modern Workplace Cybersecurity Mistakes
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We focus most on the delivery and accuracy of our services because we know that good IT is built on good communication with passionate people.
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