With rapidly evolving technology, employees at their workplaces have become more and more dependent on modern technological supplements and platforms to make their work easier and efficient. However, an increase in technological exposure has compromised cyber security and made employees more susceptible to impending cyber attacks.
Hacking, human-made blunders, and glitches in the network’s security may lead to the loss of the company’s financial assets and can cause harm to its reputation. All this calls for a revision of the workplace security policy that should be maintained and followed by company officials to improve cyber security infrastructure.
Before getting down to the workplace security checklist, it is imperative to learn about how data breaches might take place and the importance of security in the workplace. The research by security analysts world-wide have disclosed chilling details on how 60% of a company’s employees pay little to no attention to cyber security, and 43% of all leading MNCs are hesitant to invest in cyber security. It is hence crucial for organizations to avail security awareness training for employees and VAPT services to protect their IT infrastructure.
Importance of Security in the Workplace
Organizations must upgrade their workplace security policy so as to secure their data from being breached. Today almost every organization has a company database containing confidential information such as:
- Private financial data of company assets.
- Personal details of customers, executives, employees, vendors and partners of the firm.
- Unfinished or ongoing projects, new software developments and patents of primal importance that are exclusive to the company.
- Confidential information about existing or potential clients of the company.
The security of such crucial information is the sole responsibility of the organization’s security experts. However, employees should also be aware of all imminent cyber threats and safeguard confidential information from being subjected to unauthorized access by cyber attackers.
Without a well-rounded and comprehensive workplace security policy, not only the employees’ but the personal credentials of the clients and partners of the organization also gets compromised. To gain the ultimate confidence of potential clients, and make them confide in your services so that they can decisively disclose their personal credentials, an effective workplace security policy should be immediately implemented.
In an international survey on global cyber security, some alarming facts on data breaches were brought forth. Here is the list of cyber risks indicating the importance of having an efficient workplace security policy:
- Government, retail and technological industries are subjected to 95% of all data breaches worldwide.
- According to the survey, one cyber attack in every 39 seconds on an average affects 1 out of 3 employees.
- Small businesses are most susceptible to cyber attacks in which 64% attacks are internet-based, 62% are phishing scams and attacks via social engineering.
- 93% of healthcare industries are subjected to recurring episodes of data breaching by cyber criminals.
- 95% of all breaches in security takes place due to blunders made by employees in the workplace.
- More than 77% of the firms do not have a cyber attack incident response program at their disposal in case of an attack.
- On average, without an effective workplace security policy, it can take up to 6 months for a company to detect a data breach.
Types of Attack Vectors That can Hamper Workplace Security
Cyber attackers and hackers are sophisticated engineers who are well-aware of the loopholes available on various platforms. They majorly the 6 infamous attack vectors to jeopardize a company’s cyber security infrastructure:
- Phishing Attack
In July 2020, users of Google Ad Services received a fraudulent email asking them to update their policy changes, if they wanted to continue to avail their ad services. The email had a link attached, redirecting the potential victims to a malicious policy page asking them for their Office 365 login credentials. This is a classic example of a phishing attack, where employees may receive spoofed emails to manipulate them into disclosing confidential information that can compromise the security of the company.
Cyber criminals may send a link to malicious software via SMS or email to company executives which when clicked, starts downloading automatically. By the involuntary installation of this malicious application, the attacker can prevent access to the employees’ operating system asking for a subsequent ransom for it to start working again.
An employee receives an SMS with a link attached from a seemingly valid number making them an offer they can’t refuse on their most frequented platform, or a call-to-action SMS of immediate urgency that they fail to ignore. The same link redirects them to a malicious page asking for their personal credentials. These are all elements of a Smishing attack where cyber attackers make use of SMS in tricking potential victims into revealing their confidential information.
A deceitful telephonic call can sometimes lead your organization and employees into trouble quite easily if they are not cyber-aware. With the use of social engineering via these malicious phone calls, attackers tend to manipulate their victims into dispersing their personal data, banking credentials, and other sensitive information. It is usually untraceable since the source can change his voice via applications such as “Deepfake”, to make the fraud even more difficult to perceive.
- Risk of Removable Media
Unrestricted use of removable media such as smartphones, USB sticks, SD cards, and external hard disks makes the task of employees much smoother and more efficient. However, the use of such portable devices can subsequently make them highly susceptible to the risk of malicious software being transferred into critical business systems. The transferred malware can infect a company’s operating systems and a large amount of sensitive data can get leaked or compromised, which might consequently lead to financial depreciation of the same.
- Cyber scam
The internet has become an indispensable tool in recent times and can be a potential platform for cyber criminals to carry out their malevolent cyber crimes. Attackers make use of cyberspace more often than not to scam users by imparting fraudulent information, tricking them into disclosing confidential details or personal data.
How to Improve Security in the Workplace?
An organization’s sensitive information is at the disposal of its employees. Proper coordination between the company and its employees by maintaining a well-planned workplace security policy can help in securing confidential data and minimize data breaches.
Staying cyber-aware and alert at all times to identify and detect a cyber attack may be of primary significance, yet companies fail to recognize the importance of taking out the time and making a systematic and well-structured workplace security checklist.
Whether it is a small scale business venture or a multinational organization, proper education regarding cyber security is essential. A coherent workplace security policy and a well-planned workplace security checklist also work together to evade the loss of the company’s financial assets.
Hence, it is essential to get started with a concise workplace security checklist :
Safeguard personal data
Information such as employees’ login credentials, social security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account details, etc. are confidential. Sharing such information can lead to unauthorized access to your company’s operating systems and database. It is imperative to exercise caution while at work so that such information is never disclosed from your end, to avoid being tricked by scammers.
Beware of suspicious emails, links, and pop-ups
Employees should be extremely cautious of phishing attacks where attackers prey on the victims by luring them through emails and pop-ups. They ask victims to open fraudulent links that have viruses, malicious software and botnets lodged in them. Phishing attacks can result in identity theft and pave the way to ransomware attacks.
Always make sure your data is efficiently password protected
A simple password can make it extremely easy for cyber criminals to hack into your system and access sensitive information. Practice using a complex password that has at least 10 characters and is a mixed batch of lower case and uppercase letters, numbers, characters, and symbols. Companies should encourage employees to change their passwords at regular intervals, and keep passwords that are intricate and difficult to decipher.
Secure your organization’s IT infrastructure with cyber security solutions
It isn’t an easy task to have a composite workplace security policy, which is why organizations must invest in a cyber security company that provides the right products and services. Cyber criminals are well aware of security loopholes. They have the ability to exploit them despite inbuilt security software. Therefore, investing in a cyber security company and availing its services will ensure that the chances of a data breach are substantially reduced.
Implement security awareness training
Most cyber attacks in companies occur due to human errors. Therefore, employees should be aware of the evolving cyber threat landscape. Investing in an efficient security awareness training that simulates cyber attacks on employees and conducts assessments and knowledge imparting sessions can prove to be extremely beneficial.
Indulge in effective VAPT services
Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing services or VAPT services expose all vulnerabilities, bugs, and loopholes present in your company’s security infrastructure including network, server, applications, cloud, and IoT devices that can be exploited by cyber attackers.
On availing such services pen-testers gather information on the platforms from the IT department of your company. They simulate attacks and scan all exposed vulnerabilities in the system via the use of customized scripts and in-house tools to attain a high degree of penetration. Security experts then provide comprehensive reports of all exposed vulnerabilities with recommendations on how to respond to them.
Finally, a detailed discussion regarding vulnerabilities found is carried out by technical experts of the service provider with the development team of the company to come up with ways of strengthening the security infrastructure.
Get hold of products that will strengthen security infrastructure
It is a smart initiative to always invest in cyber security tools such as incident response tool that helps report fraudulent emails, brand monitoring tool to monitor and conduct live tracking of spoofed websites and applications. Implementation of an email domain authentication tool can help roll back spoofed emails in case they are sent to employees, by maintaining and checking the DMARC, SPF and DKIM records of the organization’s email domains. Making such products and programs a part of your organization’s security checklist will undoubtedly enhance security efficiency.
As cyber criminals are coming with innovative ways to trick employees, being cyber-aware and formulating a well-rounded workplace security policy is the only way to ensure the safety of company assets and sensitive information.
Data breaches around the world have led to the loss of millions by well established MNCs, so it is impossible to detect which organizations will be making headlines next by falling prey to a major cyber scam. Hence, investing in the correct security services and tools today can prevent an unsolicited breach of sensitive data tomorrow.
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