To encourage employees to adhere to cybersecurity practices, companies need to hold them liable for their risky actions. Developing a cybersecurity policy and ensuring all employees have complete awareness about how to follow it, will help companies to secure their modern workplace from cyber-attacks.
Organizations that store confidential data and deal with personally identifiable information to control company operations, will be more worried about the security of their data. Due to the variety of data forms, cybersecurity is still a top corporate priority in the modern workplace. Businesses conduct business using this data, and occasionally the data that the businesses possess is owned by third parties like clients, business partners, suppliers, etc. This data constitutes the biggest cyber threats to the firm because it is the preferred target for cybercriminals. Securing every component of the corporate infrastructure is essential, and hence, securing every string of the company system is very crucial for the modern workplace.
The OAIC statistics on Notifiable Data Breaches Report: July-December 2021 revealed that 55% of data breaches source were malicious, of these, 41% was human errors and 4% was because of systems fault. The top causes of human error breaches – 43% were because of personal information emailed to the wrong recipient, 21% were because of the unintended release or publication, and 8% were the result of loss of paperwork or data storage device. These reports make it more imperative for the workplace to teach employees about cybersecurity and cyber-attacks.
No cybersecurity strategy can guarantee a success rate of 100% against human-based activities, but it does help to reduce risk and manage incidents. The idea of how employees might ensure cybersecurity in the normal course of business in today’s workplace, as well as the organization’s overall mindset, are key considerations. It would not be fair to ask the workforce to support the cybersecurity mission if the C-Suite, senior leadership, and management did not do the same. Due to this, it is crucial for the organization’s leadership and management to foster a culture of cybersecurity by fostering a positive attitude among employees. Making attempts at increasing awareness will boost the capability to recognize and avoid risk at work, and reduce cyber dangers.
In this context, Lal said, “Consumer-grade messaging apps are widely used in workplaces for their convenience but pose threats to breaches of valuable and sensitive data. Utilizing messaging apps or communication platforms that offer fully encrypted services is the gold standard of protection.”
Employee awareness and training about cyber threats can be achieved via numerous programs, once management deploys a cybersecurity-conscious workplace. This training will help employees in understanding the risks and what steps they can take to avoid them. Employees are too frequently in the dark and when an attack comes, taken by surprise, giving cybercriminals an unfair advantage. Leveraging enterprise-grade communication solutions through which companies can communicate responsibly and can secure their IP protection across all digital platforms would be a good suggestion.
Business leaders need to create a communications strategy to share regular information on any cyber-attack response plan. This ensures that their agility to cyber-attacks response will increase, and over time, these communications will also help them in incorporating them into the overall workplace culture.
Lal further said, “In addition to secure communication platforms, VPNs are a great defense against hackers for remote workers. The data becomes unreadable to outsiders when it is encrypted. It would take a lot of time and effort, and an encryption key to read the original content. Secondly, two-factor authentication offers a second layer of protection for those with compromised login credentials. Creating a zero-trust security standard within an enterprise will take this a step further. Zero-trust means solutions with end-to-end encryption (E2EE) with strict no data sharing or collection policies.”
A communication plan comprises information like regulatory requirements, legal considerations, industry best practices, and commitments made to external stakeholders, that must be made available to all employees. This communication plan must be generated with the baseline employees in mind and must have simple, important data covering the most basic topics like passwords, working up to more complex processes like encryptions.
Customer relationship management (CRM) typically store significant volumes of sensitive data. Employees must adhere to best-in-class procedures in order to use cloud platforms, including creating secure passphrases, implementing multi-factor authentication, and restricting user access. When employees have more information about how vulnerable data is and how to keep it safe, the chances of surviving an attack better also increases. Internal cybersecurity awareness campaigns are also good options to develop cybersecurity awareness. As an effective way to create “buzz” around the importance of cybersecurity in the workplace, internal communication materials such as posters, newsletters, and reminders are often used.
Anurag Lal also talks about phishing. He said- “… phishing scams are always evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Educating the staff on the risks involved with phishing scams and how to report them is essential to a secure workplace in day-to-day communications. I suggest business leaders take another look at how corporate technologies are used for work-related
communication and information sharing. If it’s been a few years since an organization has reconsidered its safety measures, it’s likely outdated and at-risk.”
For any workplace, a multi-layered cybersecurity protection is critical, but it still depends on employees for information. Phishing is successful most often because the employees are not aware of the cybersecurity rules. Phishing exploits the benefits of the human aspect by persuading its gullible and trusting victims to click on harmful links or open malicious attachments. The sad thing about phishing is that most of the time, employees are unaware they are acting in a way that endangers their workplace.
It is everyone’s responsibility to take care of workplace cybersecurity, and create an enriched cybersecurity culture. Safeguarding critical company assets must be a priority and adhering to workplace security processes is necessary. Every person in the workplace must ensure they exercise caution while leveraging information systems and must look for guidance from the respective authorities.
Together everyone can make a difference in enhancing cybersecurity in the workplace.