Although technical advancements over the past two decades have made it easier to operate and expand businesses around the globe, companies are now more vulnerable to security threats, data breaches and other forms of cybercrimes that victimize millions of people each year. Studies have confirmed that malicious attacks account for close to 50 percent of the data breaches that were recorded in the United States throughout 2012, according to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
Hacking attacks were the causes of over 33 percent of the remaining breaches within the same year. Having an IT support team in place to monitor, manage and maintain your overall security has its advantages. However, several simple steps can protect your company from becoming victimized by a wide range of security threats.
Do Not Lose Work Devices
Tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices are great for worker productivity. However, these devices are also prime targets for cybercriminals who want to penetrate your company’s web service security since they provide direct access to confidential company data and personal information. When these devices are either lost or stolen, this creates a major issue when it comes to keeping that data secured.
Over 18 million identities that were stolen in 2011 were exposed through computer software and mobile devices that were either lost or stolen. Make sure your employees are held personally accountable for their work device, such as laptops and smartphones, so that the chances of them allowing these devices to be misplaced and stolen will be greatly reduced.
Only Use Strong Passwords
Another target that the average cyber-criminal aims for when hunting down their next victim is a weak password. The top three passwords that were used around the world in 2012 were “password,” “123456,” and “12345678,” according to CBS News. Using a common password that is easy to break is just like using the same exact door lock as hundreds of other homes within your neighborhood. A criminal would only need one key to gain access to all of those homes, including yours.
Require your employees to use strong passwords that combine special characters, letters and numbers into an uncommon combination that only they can easily remember. Even though an expert computer hacker could still find a way to hack into your system with a strong password, the odds of them successfully doing so are greatly reduced by having one in place.
Provide Sufficient Training for Your Staff
Make sure your employees know how to properly use their mobile devices before they are allowed to freely use them on their own. It is imperative that you have strict policies in place that clearly state which activities are allowed and which are prohibited so that you can punish anyone who violates those standards. Taking these steps seriously is an effective way to allow your employees to help protect your company against many future cyber-crimes and security breaches.