Tech security remains the top topic of conversation for modern businesses. Business and technology are now inseparable and the ramifications of that evolution are still being parsed. One thing has become clear: security strategy in the majority of businesses is sorely lacking. A sharp spike in cyber crime and hacking demonstrates that the bad guys have figured out that businesses aren't prepared to adequately defend sensitive data. Fortunately, there is plenty of hope, but it starts with communicating the right things to your team. Start with the 4 tech security tips below:
In an episode of 'Seinfeld,' Jerry is robbed when Kramer leaves his apartment door open. Jerry, admonishing Kramer for his mistake, says about his door lock, "It's the most impenetrable lock on the market today... it only has one design flaw: the door... must be CLOSED!" Setting a weak or duplicate password is like leaving your front door wide open. If something gets stolen, it's not exactly surprising. Cyber criminals prey on the vulnerable. Make sure that your team knows that and plans accordingly. Strong passwords should be the norm. Multi-factor authentication should be a must. Consider investing in a password manager for your team. Before your team worries about the next level of security, make sure that doors are closed.
2. If It Feels Suspicious, It Probably Is
Is the "IRS agent" on the phone line acting strange? Is the odd e-mail request from your bank riddled with spelling errors? Does the link you're about to click on look unfamiliar? If the answer is 'yes,' to any of those, it's best to exercise some healthy skepticism and hold back on sending anything sensitive or otherwise. Cyber criminals use social engineering tactics to take advantage our your team's trust and good nature. Make it clear to your team that the policy is to exercise caution in every instance where private data or company credentials are being requested. There's no harm in confirming that data is being accessed only by those who should be handling it. Any request that suggests otherwise, should be seen as suspicious.
3. Updates Are Annoying AND Necessary
It's as if your computer is tapping you on the shoulder: 'There are X updates ready for download for Y software,' the alert reads. When you're in the middle of a task, that can be irritating. But, ignoring requests for updates puts your business at needless risk. Communicate to your team that updates are necessary, even if they feel like an interruption. When Microsoft, or any software company, releases a software update, it often includes critical security patches. Any system that's left to grow outdated is at risk for exploitation. It may be annoying, but keeping software up-to-date is a simple way to ward off avoidable security threats.
4. Seek Out Security Awareness
The best case scenario is Security Awareness Training being made available to your team. If that's not presently on the table, communicate to your team that Security Awareness is important and build a culture that keeps security top of mind. Your team is potential vulnerability or a potential strength in your security strategy. Make sure that it's the latter by impressing upon your team that security is a group effort. When security is emphasized in your business, your team is more likely to keep an eye on the news, stay informed about rising security threats, and be on the lookout for cyber criminal activities. Turn security from a background issue into something that affects everyone in the building.
Use our Data Security Checklist to evaluate your business: