How to Reduce Cyber Threat for Returning Employees
When transitioning back to working from the office after the lockdown, you are probably concerned about the health and safety measures you need to have in place. That is perfect since you have to do everything to reduce health risks for your employees.
However, your cybersecurity should receive the same attention as your systems may be at risk of cyber threats now more than ever. Most phishing attempts targeted remote workers. You may witness similar attempts by cybercriminals as your employees return to work.
To have a smooth transition, recognize the challenges your business faces and design a contingency plan. In this article, we will point out some cybersecurity challenges and show you how to reduce cyber threats for returning employees.
Update Your Security Measures
Take proactive measures to secure your systems and devices. You may need to upgrade your infrastructure to enable access from different platforms that support work from home and work from the office work arrangements without compromising your cybersecurity.
As you upgrade your cybersecurity measures, look at current practices dealing with current cyber threats. Remember to put in place measures that secure your organization from accidental or malicious insider threats.
Fortify Your Human Firewall
Your employees will be your best defense against cyber threats. Any measures you put in place will require your employees’ input to be effective. Ensure your employees are aware of the diversity and magnitude of cyberattacks tactics.
As the workers return to work, organize training sessions to refresh their cybersecurity knowledge and inform them about emerging threats. Occasionally, hold voice phishing and email phishing simulations to evaluate the employees’ reactions to potential threats and use your finding to determine if they need further training.
Revisit Your Backup Policy
No organization is fully fortified from cyberattacks. One way of preparing to deal with cyberattacks is to backup your data and ensure you can recover it in no time after a cyberattack.
It is time to relook your backup measures and test them for efficiency and effectiveness. This should tell you to go beyond backing up your data to testing the backup system to ensure you can recover the data fully or partially. Also, test that the data is not distorted and the time you can take to recover the data to reduce your downtime.
Revise Your IT Infrastructure
As you transition to working from the office, you need to review your IT infrastructure needs. If you plan to maintain blended work arrangements, you may need to reduce office IT devices and invest more in collaborative IT solutions. Relook your IT infrastructure needs and make any adjustments to enhance your employees’ collaboration and productivity.
Most organizations did not prepare to have their employees work from home. Employees had to use their personal computers, phones, and new devices to access company infrastructure. Your employees may leave those devices logged in to your company accounts, risking unauthorized access to data and systems.
Remind the employees to log out of company accounts on these devices and delete the accounts. Advice them to uninstall any VPN software they were using to access company accounts. They should also delete all company data they may have downloaded on their devices.
Your employees may have used simpler passwords on their personal devices since they are not shared, and the risk of unauthorized access is lower. They may have forgotten the passwords they use to log in to their office devices.
Since passwords play a significant role in securing your data and infrastructure, ensure the employees practice good password hygiene at work. They should use strong passwords. The best passwords are made by randomly combining 3 words to form a unique passphrase they can remember easily.
Remind your employees not to share their passwords or passphrases, whether through email, text, or written notes. Advise them to memorize the passwords to avoid writing them down on paper or their phones.
If you are having difficulties with password hygiene, switch to account privileges. This way, you can appoint an administrator to manage access, monitor, and audit users’ activities and cybersafety consciousness.
Phishing has been the biggest cybersecurity threat to organizations during the lockdown. Organizations should be on the lookout as the threat may escalate as you transition to working from the office.
Empower your employees to identify phishing emails, especially those that create a sense of urgency, instill fear, or create curiosity about the pandemic to make employees share personal information, click on, or download attachments.
Train your employees to think twice before opening emails from unknown sources. If any email creates a sense of urgency, the employees should treat it suspiciously. They should avoid taking actions that may endanger them, their devices, or company infrastructure.
Avoid Unauthorized Access
Limit access to your high-security areas. Your employees should be aware of the people they let into those areas. They should note any strangers or unauthorized people following them as they approach entrances to high-security areas to ensure they do not let them in.
Your employees should safeguard their keys and identity cards. They should not leave them in unlocked drawers or share them with colleagues to avoid unauthorized people accessing them.
Your employees may need to transfer some files from their personal and home-based devices to the office devices and systems. They will need support to transfer them safely.
Let them learn how to zip and encrypt their files before storing them in encrypted hard drives or USB sticks. They should avoid sending the files through email, especially if they contain sensitive data.
These storage devices may be virus and malware carriers. Designate a cleansing area where they are scanned and cured of any viruses and malware before the employees can attach them to their office devices.
Adapt End-User Protection
End-user protection is more effective than anti-malware, anti-ransomware, and anti-viruses. Besides identifying potential incoming threats, it takes proactive measures to stop the threat. It goes further to automatically backup your data to allow you to recover it after the virus, malware, or ransomware attack.
Clean Desk Policy
Your employees should maintain their desks clean and avoid leaving documents and portable devices on their desks and open drawers. Unauthorized people may access sensitive documents left lying on the desk.
The employees should secure documents under their care by keeping them away in locked cabinets or drawers. They should shred documents they no longer require to avoid exposing the information they contain when improperly disposed of.
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