Every employee shares one inescapable flaw that is putting your business at risk – They are human.

59% of data breaches can be traced back to something an employee did (or did not do), which invited a cyber-attack. To lock hackers out, build security awareness and respect into your company culture so that maintenance of digital security becomes as routine as making a cup of coffee.

1. Use complex passwords: Every employee, including management, needs to use an alphanumeric password that they have not used before. Password managers can assist with ensuring that they are never forgotten.

2. Verify unknown identities: Not familiar with ‘Alison from Accounting’ who has called to ask for sensitive information? Double check caller’s identity and access permissions before releasing any information. Hackers love to play on our desire to be helpful.

3. Encrypt by default: People regularly transfer data to a laptop or smartphone so they can work more efficiently. Unfortunately, this equipment can be easily stolen. Set operating systems to encrypt data by default so that it will become useless information in the wrong hands.

4. Protect portable devices: Laptops and mobile phones should always require a password and be set to auto-lock after a short period of time. Never leave them unattended in cars, buses, restrooms or any public places, and always take them as carry-on luggage.

5. Set personal usage rules: While you may have blocked productivity-vacuums such as Facebook, what are the rules regarding games, video streaming or shopping? Can the employees install their own software? When business computers are used for personal usage, security vigilance tends to slide, resulting in unintentional malware installation.

6. Educate often: Digital security threats change regularly and people become comfortable with a certain level of danger, thinking ‘it will never happen to me’. A 5-minute discussion once a month may be the barrier or a reminder that keeps hackers out. Some starter topics that you might fine useful:

  • Links in emails – Hackers often send emails that look like they are from your bank or similar. Be sure to check the link by hovering over it with your mouse. This is known as ‘phishing’.
  • Tech scam popups – Be on the lookout for popups advising that your computer is infected and you need to call a phone number or download software.
  • Email attachments – Never open an unknown attachment even when it is from people you know and trust. Always scan for malware before opening.

ManagedIT.SG is an IT Support, IT Solutioning and Managed IT Service Provider specializing in serving Small Businesses in Singapore. Call us at +65 6748 8776 and let us manage your Small Business IT today!