How to keep your office safe from cyber criminals

You probably keep close tabs on expensive office equipment and supplies. Office security is a must. But do you think about protection from cyber criminals?

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The National Cyber Security Alliance and Department of Homeland Security launched NCSAM (National Cybersecurity Awareness Month) in October 2004. This October marks the 15th anniversary of NCSAM.

The theme of week three of NCSAM is “It’s Everyone’s Job to Ensure Online Safety at Work”. All over the globe, organizations have been attacked by cyber criminals. Attacks have hit Bristol Airport, British Airways, Delta Airlines, Macy*s, Ticketmaster and Whole Foods Market. From reading the list of large well-known entities, you might think that small organizations are safe. Alas, they are not. Breaches occur most often at SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), if only because there are a lot more of them. The only reason you don’t hear about them is because they usually involve fewer breached records, and the damage is often limited to people in a certain area. Sadly, cyber criminals happily go after all targets – large and small.

IT Governance USA’s staff protects themselves from cyber criminals

Today, IT Governance USA, the leading provider of cybersecurity expertise and solutions, hosted an office lunch with its NYC employees to review our own safety and set an example for other organizations to keep cyber criminals out.

During lunch, we took a look at the “Be Vigilant, Be Secure, Be Safe” posters that are affixed to our walls to see how well we were doing at following their guidance.

Staff errors and negligence are one of the top causes of a data breach, so we were pleased to see that we are secure.

Here’s what we were happy to note:

  • The printer’s document tray was empty. Remember to walk right over to your printer and remove the documents any time you print something. Exposed documents could contain personal identifiable information (PII), such as Social Security numbers, DOBs, addresses, and credit card information. This is an easy target for a cyber criminal to snap a photo of with their phone. Remember, data breaches don’t just happen online – printed documents are often a gold mine for a criminal.
  • If someone stepped away from their desk, they remembered to lock their computer, stow away any documents in a locked file cabinet, and take their smartphone with them. Again, PII could be on a monitor, on documents sprawled across your desk, and on your phone. All easy targets if not secured.
  • Before we stepped out to the deli to buy our sandwiches, we locked our office door. Never leave your doors unlocked while the office is unattended. That’s an open invitation for both cyber and traditional criminals. Be on the lookout for possible intruders.

Some quick tips to keep your office secure from cyber criminals

Criminal hackers are everywhere, and everyone is a target. To help prevent an online data breach, you should:

  1. Only grant system access to individuals who have a relevant business need
  2. Only use legitimate, frequently updated software
  3. Enforce encryption of mobile devices, where possible
  4. Never write down a password.
  5. Make sure your passwords are strong and change them regularly
  6. Never click email links or open attachments from unverified sources
  7. Avoid visiting dubious websites, as malware can wreak havoc on your systems and data

Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to learn more. Register now for IT Governance USA’s webinar “GDPR compliance and information security: Reducing data breach risk, scheduled for Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EDT. Questions will be taken at the end.

It will cover:

  • An overview of the GDPR and how an ISO 27001-aligned ISMS can support compliance
  • The benefits of implementing an ISMS
  • The top risks that result in data breaches and key actions to take in the event of a data breach
  • The technical and organizational requirements to achieve GDPR compliance