In your daily routine where you have tight deadlines to meet, lots of data to transfer, and valuable relationships to maintain, cybersecurity might not be the first thing on your mind. However, with the transition to digital platforms and the advent of the work-from-home era, a cybersecurity mindset can help you navigate your tasks comfortably and efficiently while protecting yourself and your company from cyberattacks.
Based on current trends, we would like to discuss some of the risks you could be facing and share habits you can adopt for an active prevention plan.
Cyberattacks: What are they?
Cybersecurity concerns every individual, but recently, attackers have been targeting big corporations and their employees, seriously disrupting their supply chain network, and compromising their data.
The first step in preventing these existing attacks is to be able to identify them. Here are a few of the cybersecurity threats you might be facing in 2021:
Phishing is a popular method for attackers to obtain sensitive information from you. Attackers will send you an e-mail with a link or an attachment, prompting you to provide your password or other personal data. Because the attackers sometimes disguise themselves as a legitimate company, the page you will be looking at might not seem suspicious. Once you share your information, the attackers can then use it to access your accounts.
Depending on the type of information you disclose, attackers might use additional methods such as malware to attack your entire network.
Malware, also known as malicious software, is meant to infect your computer and take partial or full control of your system. This type of attack can be tricky because it can happen without your knowledge, from clicking links and ads or downloading files and apps on any of your devices. Attackers might then steal or manipulate any sensitive data.
Ransomware is a form of malware prompting you to pay a fee to stop your data from being leaked and to reclaim your device or files. Attackers often use this method as an easy way to get large sums of money by threatening large organizations. Paying the ransom will not always give you back access to your data, which is why prevention and proper backup storage are crucial concerning this type of attack.
Social engineering involves psychologically manipulating individuals to reveal personal information via e-mail, websites, or voice mails. This method relies heavily on appealing to your desires or playing with your emotions, usually fear or excitement. Sometimes, attackers will present themselves as people you know or would like to connect with to gain your trust and access your data. If something you come across on the web seems too good to be true or happens unexpectedly, such as an urgent situation or a life-changing offer, it might be an act of social engineering.
Creating good habits: What can you do?
To protect yourself from cyberattacks, you can start building a cybersecurity mindset with a few simple and effective habits.
Use multi-factor authentication and manage your passwords
To keep your devices, accounts, and networks secure, avoid using weak or old passwords. You can get into this habit by resetting your passwords regularly, which some companies have been requiring their employees to do every 3 months.
Multi-factor authentication ensures that only you can access your data and allows you to have multiple layers of protection, leaving attackers with more barriers to overcome. When setting up your accounts, you can ask to include an SMS code, a fingerprint, or sometimes facial recognition when logging in to restrict access.
Communicate with team members regularly and avoid opening unfamiliar e-mails, attachments, or links
As attackers have developed more advanced techniques to access your data, you must pay close attention to your communication platforms. Phishing and methods such as social engineering mean you might be less likely to notice a cyberattack attempt as attackers try to create an appealing front, often pretending to be a new customer or an existing team member.
To help prepare your team for cyberattacks, encourage a culture where everyone feels comfortable reporting any suspicious communications and raising concerns when in doubt.
Use cloud storage to back up your files
Regardless of the size of your company, cloud storage can be beneficial as is it gives you the chance to access your data anytime and anywhere. If your data gets stolen or deleted, cloud storage will save you lots of time and money and prepare you for worst-case scenarios.
Avoid mixing personal and business e-mail accounts
When working from home, it is common for people to use one account for multiple purposes. For example, you might be signing up for newsletters or be downloading apps with your professional e-mail account. While this action seems harmless, you could risk leaking business data and damaging your reputation, costing your organization a lot of money. To protect your data and privacy, ensure that you are only using your professional account for business purposes, and if possible, consider using a separate device as well.
Be careful when using public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi might allow malicious individuals to access your data through various methods. You might want to adjust your settings and turn off auto-join Wi-Fi and sharing. If you would like to connect to public Wi-Fi, it would be best to install a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to protect your privacy.
What’s next: Continue increasing awareness through collaboration
To help staff feel more at ease when working digitally, incorporating cybersecurity training can eliminate a lot of worries. Involving all departments can also bring everyone in your team to work together and inspire a productive, healthy, and secure work environment.
We hope you can share these tips with anyone who might need it.