Sticking it To Cyber-Crime: Staying Safe Online at Work

25th November 2015
Hacking Data

A recent Panorama TV programme investigating the current state of cyber crime seemed to indicate our computer security is in a fragile state. Be it desktop, mobile or some other form of online activity, hackers appearing on the programme indicated things are more vulnerable than ever. We look at the state of cyber safety in the workplace and what we can do to prevent it and hacking attempts on our data.

Employees’ Unintentional Mistakes

Remote working is cause for concern for many employers when it comes to cyber security. Flexible working opportunities have numerous benefits, however one setback is that many of the environments professional’s choose to work in remotely are open workspaces, coffee shops and cafes with free wifi. Getting up to buy a snack or go to the bathroom and leaving your computer open in such an environment opens you up to data theft or a virus being installed.

Additionally it goes without saying not to check sensitive information such as banking details when using a pubic Internet network as these networks are not nearly so secure as private and home networks.

Two factor authentication to get on to remote work systems is also advised from an employer perspective as passwords can be easy to guess for hackers – we are creatures of habit after all! Many banking services now use this to keep client data safe – including major firms like HSBC.

It may seem extreme and laborious to go through so much rigmarole to log on to a system day after day but, given the considerable ability of today’s hackers – it is necessary.

Increasing Security

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to your Internet security, therefore always update your computer when prompted – it may again seem tedious but this is one of the best and easiest way to ensure the latest security software is installed and your machine protected.

Investing in anti-virus is another easy step employers and their teams can take to fight cyber crime and a cautionary word to only download programs, documents and other files from known websites can help you and your team with data theft prevention.

Protecting the Workplace

Oftentimes companies have a huge amount of sensitive data throughout their online systems including identifying information and sensitive client details. Protecting such intellectual property is of paramount concern to organisations in 2016 according to Computer Weekly who have some insightful statistics on the state of the nations digital safety:

83% of respondents are confident that their business is secure against a data breach
Just 49% of respondents however said their company hasn’t suffered a data breach
• Data breaches cost the UK economy £20 to £30 billion per year

Additional simple recommended actions from the employer point of view include: designating someone to collate the organisation’s personal data inventory so anything that’s lost can be quickly identified and implementing data protection processes and policies.

Supporting Facts and Figures

Additionally, the most common weaknesses in data security able to be exploited are as follows:

• Malware vulnerabilities (22%)
• Email security (21%)
• Lack of employee education/training (15%)
• Cloud applications (12%)
• Insider threats (12%)

As an online recruitment agency we appreciate the need to remain vigilant – our entire business is online after all and relies on server availability, site uptime and data protection. Hackers are getting more sophisticated, and we can no longer get away with being lax in our data security.

"Hackers are getting more sophisticated, and we can no longer get away with being lax in our data security."