Slowing down during the holidays doesn’t mean cybercriminals do; but even if this were the case, thanks to all the tech gifts and shopping that goes on around the holiday season, cybercriminals have that many more opportunities to get into a company’s network and gain access to data.  As an executive of the organization what are some of the things you can do to minimize these cybersecurity holiday risks?  Here are two practical tips and easy steps that can help.

 

Mobile devices – Make it easy for everyone to identify threats

As you’re most likely aware, one of the biggest security vulnerability concerns come from a company’s employee’s mobile use at work and off the premises.

With mobile malware on the rise and smishing (phishing attempts over SMS) risks, an employee’s mobile device is a problem when the proper precautions aren’t taken.  Especially when they’re using their mobile device a lot more to do their holiday shopping, maybe even at the office during their lunch break.

The best way you can minimize your risks is to educate everyone (including executives and the board) in the company on the necessary security steps they must take to avoid their mobile device becoming a liability for company data safety.  This begins with helping them know how to identify potential threats.  If they don’t know what to look for, they can’t avoid it.  Make it simple for them to understand, otherwise they won’t remember.

Creating a backdoor for hackers to get inside the company’s network isn’t that hard, but it is hard for IT security executives to get employees and the higher up to follow BYOD policies.  If you are still seeing this as an issue in the work place, address it before everyone comes back from the holidays with their new super duper tech gifts, which will include mobile devices.

Remember, employees, executives and the board aren’t in the world of cybersecurity.  They don’t know what to look for as a risk, nor do they have the practice in spotting minute clues that indicate a potential cyber threat.  Telling them not to do something doesn’t work either, since they don’t fully understand what you’re talking about.  On the other hand, if you help them to identify a threat, then at least you know they’ll alert you if they see something odd now that they know what “odd” looks like.

 

Holiday IoT device gifts – Network security and employee best security practices

Like most businesses, you probably have a tech security software that helps you to keep an eye out on your network, but keep in mind that technology solutions can only do so much.  There’s always an issue with false positives and there’s also the issue of feeling secure because you have something in place.

Unfortunately, you can’t afford to think you’re safe without integrating continuous monitoring into the mix because your network vulnerabilities can change quickly.  If you’re not able to monitor the network as consistently as you’d like, at the very least during peak cyberattack times try to do this.

It’s also a good idea to get an assessment of your network vulnerabilities during this time of year and any time you know hackers are harder at work due to an increase in opportunity to get inside the network.  During the holiday season this opportunity involves the latest gadgets and IoT devices that everyone’s getting each other as gifts.

When it comes to the human component, employees, business partners and visitors, give them a clear idea of best practices to implement with their newly gifted devices.  How to set them up so that security can be implemented before they start using their devices to access company data.

Even though it would be nice to think that everyone takes the holiday season off, this is not the case.  The sooner you prepare for the boom in mobile devices and other IoT gifts that will be arriving in the office after the holiday season; the better prepared you will be to reduce your vulnerabilities and potential for breach.

 

NCX Group wishes you a merry holiday season and wants you to know that we’re here to help you get on track with your cybersecurity needs.  We’re only a phone call away!

Schedule your free consultation if you’re in need of a partner to ensure your company is safer from security incidents during the holidays and as we approach a new year.

 

Photo courtesy of stockhits