With the increase in file sharing and user access to work files from home and on the road, staying on top of security has never been more important. Add to that the growth of networks and the sheer number of users accessing a shared database, and the odds of something going wrong quickly balloon. That’s why we recommend taking a fresh look at user security in the new year.
The case for improving user security
We live and work in a digital world that is becoming increasingly complex, yet it’s easy to become complacent and believe that digital security breaches will always happen to someone else – until your own defenses are breached.
Whether it’s clicking on a dodgy email, falling victim to a phishing scam or getting infected by a virus, letting something sinister through the gate can lead to compromised company data and a world of inconvenience – or worse. Cybercriminals can steal financial records, gain access to your most valuable IP and compromise personal information that can lead to identity theft and fraud.
Adding to these factors is the in-market damage to your reputation, the hit to your finances and the disruption to your customers and internal operations alike. Staying on top of security is your only option.
Effective security strategies
User security is largely a matter of common sense; simple preventive measures can go a long way towards keeping your company, and its data safe. For starters, try these four simple steps:
1. Implement login and password controls.
Requiring users to choose long passwords with a mix of numbers, capital letters and special characters is a critical first step for security.
2. Update your software.
Make sure you always update the software on every device. Updates are not only about a new look for a new year – often they include patches for newly discovered bugs and vulnerabilities.
3. Ensure your users are download-savvy.
Software should only ever be downloaded from well-known, trusted sources. Instruct users not to download plug-ins or email attachments they’re unsure about. Scammers are increasingly sophisticated, and users must stay on their toes.
4. Encrypt your data.
When storing sensitive data or sending information over the internet, use encryption. Encryption services are becoming cheaper and easier to use, so there’s really no reason not to deploy them.
Communication is critical
The costs in time and money, not least reputation, for companies in plugging a data leak is bad. But there’s really no excuse for breaches caused by easily preventable factors such as lazy behavior around password control, leaving computers logged on or falling victim to a scam.
So, when it comes to user security in 2018, why not commit to regular security updates and reminders for your users? After all, creating a security-conscious culture is inexpensive – and without it, even the most sophisticated security measures will be of little use.