According to INTERPOL, “cybercrime is one of the fastest-growing [crimes]” and continues to be just as serious as other crimes committed around the world.
For business owners, cyber security should remain top-of-mind in terms of policies and procedures that require constant nurturing and upgrading. To protect sensitive company data, along with client or customer information, like social security numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, etc. business owners are urged to make cyber security a priority each year. Why? Cybercrimes are expected to increase more than 15% each year through 2025, reaching a total of nearly $11 trillion.
Employers should take a proactive approach to cyber security, which includes an audit protocol each year to ensure teams are prepared, software is updated, and servers are secure. Cyber security is a team effort! Here are some tips for employers and their worksite employees to help keep company and customer data secure.
- Avoid Reusing Passwords
This is a habit to which we have all succumb at one point or another: recycling passwords. Why shouldn’t you be able to use the same password to pay your credit card as you use to login to request PTO? For example, “123456” is used by more than 2.5 million people and allowed more than 23 million data breaches in 2019. In general, create a unique password for each access point using the following recommendations:
- Use a longer password with a mix of characters, symbols, and capital letters
- Change passwords immediately if there has been a breach
- Refrain from using common or easy to locate, identifiable information like birthdays, anniversaries, social security numbers, phone numbers, etc.
- Avoid sharing passwords
- Secure All Company Laptops, Computers, or Internet Connected Devices
As we ease out of our pandemic quarantine lifestyle, not all employers are ready, willing, or needing employees to shift back to in-person, in the office work. In fact, some employers are more than happy to continue the remote work setup that many employees have become accustomed and prefer. And while there is a level of comfort for employees in working from home, employers should not set aside their security protocols. Remote employees using company hardware or connecting virtually to company servers need to ensure all connections are safe and secure. This means mitigating vulnerabilities at the choke point, before hackers have a chance to infiltrate your company data. Ensure scans are done regularly, verify all security software is current, and consider investing in regular employee training regarding data, internet, digital/virtual, email, and browser safety.
- Properly Secure all Wi-Fi Networks
Team members returning to the office will be eager to reconnect to company Wi-Fi, especially staff who take breaks in the lunchroom and use their phone to stream or browse social media. A business Wi-Fi should be secure, encrypted (require a password to access), and hidden, so as to not broadcast the network name or SSID publically.
- Minimize Internal Attacks
Unfortunately, in the event a disgruntled employee is terminated, there may be some repercussions that take place prior to their exit off the property, or from the organization’s servers (if working remotely). These employees can cause a direct threat to an organization of any size by using internal credentials to gain access to confidential information. Double-check that your employee handbook has specific policies and procedures for revoking network and server access for a terminated employee immediately.
For business owners who haven’t considered cyber liability insurance (CLI), AccessPoint can help get you started. From hacker attacks and extortion threats to identity theft restoration and recovery of damaged or destroyed data, CLI may be the answer to questions you didn’t know you needed to ask. It’s time to take preventive measures to minimize risk to your business and gain peace of mind.
 Cybercrime Magazine (2020): Cybercrime to Cost the World $10.5 Trillion by 2025