How your Employees can be your Biggest Risk
When it comes to cyber security, we are all aware of the risks. But do any of us really put enough thought into how our daily behaviour can negatively impact the business we are part of. It’s easy for employees to hear about the risks, without really believing that the rules apply to them, or simply not bothering to adapt their daily routine.
The reality is that ensuring security in any organisation falls to the employees on a daily basis, and as methods of hacking become more sophisticated it is important to change our behaviours and increase our security mechanisms. Read on for things to consider.
Changing your password
This needs to become as habitual to us as washing our hands, or looking both ways when we cross the street. Changing the way we view cyber security and gradually improving our habits, is key in reducing the number of security breaches, hacks and malware attacks. Optimum passwords should contain a combination of upper and lower case characters as well as numbers. It is important to avoid the pitfall of using information in a password which can easily be accessed on social media networks, such as a family member’s birthday, as it is becoming prevalent for criminal organisations to collect and sell lists of this kind of sensitive information.
Two-factor authentication is now being increasingly used for email security. It requires the user to input a unique code which is sent to a mobile device. Designed as an extra later of security, it is fast becoming part of a standard process. It is also important to consider keeping back up information such as a secondary email address and phone number, in order to maintain access in the event of a hack.
Customer data and GDPR
New EU data protection regulations which came into force on the 25th May 2016, and are due to apply from 25th May 2018 mean that any security breaches involving customer data will be subject to much higher penalties than with the previous regulations. Companies who control consumer data are subject to fines of up to €20 million, or 4% of annual turnover (whichever is higher). The financial impact of such mistakes, will therefore, increase dramatically. It is important to consider:
- What data you hold
- With whom you share it
- How you secure your data
According to a recent YouGov survey some 70% of marketing and advertising agencies would not be certain of their ability to detect a data breach. Changing cyber security procedures is key to improving security and reducing the risk to consumer data. Security measures are constantly improving, but it is down to the individual to enforce them, and companies must encourage their employees to do so. From the 25th May 2018 onwards getting it right could become critical.