In case you work in the IT department of a company, you are the front line staff to safeguard your organization’s information security. There is a possibility of your organization to have detailed IT security policies in place for you and your colleagues. However, despite these protections, it makes sense to be careful and help in making sure that the network and data of your company are secure and safe.
Is there a difference based on whether you work in a midsize or small organization? While hackers mostly target big companies, yet small businesses may also be alluring for them. That is because hackers may feel small businesses are more vulnerable as there are fewer controls in place. While your business may have some of the most detailed IT policies and security policies in place, your actions will play a crucial role in data safety. When you are an IT professional, it is a smart goal to learn about good security practices. It can be helpful to protect your company.
We will also cover which of these is not a good security practice for portable devices?
IT security best practices comprise general practices such as the following:
1. Being careful while indulging in online activities.
2. Adhering to company rules.
3. Reaching out for assistance if you suspect something fishy.
Check out these good security practices that every IT worker should be aware of:
1. Use 3rd-party controls
It is common for companies to have data breaches internally. That is the reason businesses have to contemplate and restrict employee access to client and customer information.
There could be a person in charge of using and accessing confidential information of other employees, clients, and consumers. If that is the case, company rules about how sensitive information is used and stored should be followed and implemented. For instance, you have to protect soft or hard copies of data. Then you have to defend data access from unauthorized 3rd –parties.
Employees and organizations may also need to monitor 3rd-parties like former employees or consultants having temporary access to the computer network of an organization. It is imperative to limit or stop 3rd-party access to specific areas. Also, take note of removing access when they complete the work.
2. Speak to the IT department
If you are an employee of an IT department, you should let the other employees know the IT department is their friend. Tell them to reach out to you or other members of the IT support team to know about information security.
It makes sense to seek the assistance of IT if a software update leads to a glitch. Tell them to avoid a simple problem from becoming more complex by trying to fix it. In case they are uncertain, the IT department can come forward to help.
Employees should be educated about reporting security alerts from internet security software to the IT department. After all, they might not be acquainted with all kinds of threats that take place.
Employees of other departments should be told to stay connected when they are traveling. They should tell your department (IT) before going out. It is particularly true when they could be using Wi-Fi from a public network. It is important for them to carry their VPN while traveling.
3. Proper training and education
A smart IT department is one, which takes time to train all the employees of that organization. Every employee should be made aware of knowing the existing security policies of a business and what is expected of them. If they are uncertain about a policy, they should feel free to ask the IT department.
4. IT department should convince management to invest in full-proof security systems
A small business might think twice before investing a big sum in a good security system. These include investing in strong malware detection and antivirus system. They also include running frequent system checks and external hard drives for data backup. However, if they invest early, their employees and the business can be saved from probable legal and financial expenses of being breached.
All devices the employees use at their homes and offices should be protected via powerful security software. It is crucial for a company’s IT department to ensure data security in the workplace. However, employees should inform the Information Security Manager or the IT department as soon as they observe something suspicious related to a security issue.
It could be a limitation in the existing security system, which the business may have to fix or patch. The faster an employee reports the issue to the IT department, the better.
5. Devices should be connected to secure Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi networks in the office have to be concealed, encrypted, and secure. If an employee is working from a remote location, data protection is possible if he/she uses a virtual private network in case the company has one. Also, a VPN is a must-have security feature when an employee is on an official trip or working remotely from their office.
A public Wi-Fi network may not be safe and sensitive business data can be exposed to being accessed. However, some Virtual Public Networks offer more safety features than others.
6. Data protection should be a priority
Most people avoid sharing certain personally identifiable information while answering an unknown text message, text message, or an email. These include the following
i) Their credit card number or
ii) Social security number
The same type of caution should be maintained at work.
It should be remembered that cybercriminals may create websites and email addresses, which appear legitimate. Such fraudsters may fake information related to caller ID too. Scammers can even get hold of social media accounts of a company and send what appear to be legitimate messages.
While it might be obvious, it is imperative to not leak the data, intellectual property, or sensitive information of the company. For instance, if you use or share the trade secrets or IP addresses of other businesses, you, as well as, your business can land into trouble.
An organization can help in safeguarding its staff, data, and customers by distributing and creating business policies, which cover various topics. One of them could be ways of destroying data, which is not required any longer. Another topic could be ways of reporting ransomware or suspicious emails.
7. Use firewall protection at home and at the workplace
There should be a firewall for the home network, as well as, the organization network. These are the 1st line of defense to help data protection against cyberattacks. A firewall can stop unauthorized people from accessing your mail services, and other resources like websites, which may be easily accessed from the web otherwise.
8. Stay away from unknown links, emails, and pop-ups
Be careful of phishing. A phisher tries to allure netizens into clicking a particular link, which can eventually lead to a security breach. These scammer attack employees with the hope that the latter will open malicious links and other pop-up windows, which could have malware and viruses embedded in them.
It is precisely for this reason that employees should be careful of email attachments and links from unknown senders. Even a single click on them can enable scammers to enter the computer network of your organization.
There is an easy rule to follow to prevent this fraudulent activity. Do not enter your company or personal data when a pop-up webpage or an email, which you did not initiate, asks you. That is because phishing can result in identity theft.
Your company can help by employing email authentication technology that blocks these suspicious emails. You’ll usually be notified that the email has been sent to a quarantine folder, where you can check to see if it’s legitimate or not. You need to be careful.
In case you are uncertain about whether communication or an email is legitimate or not, get in touch with the IT or security department.
9. Backup your files and install updates of security software
If you want to follow good security practices in your company, you should update the following with the most recent protections:
- Operating systems
- Web browsers
- Security software
Anti-malware protection and antivirus software systems are regularly revised so that they can respond to and target new security threats. When an organization circulates policies for security updates, they should be installed immediately. The same applies to all personal devices the employees use at their workplaces. When updates are promptly installed, the defenses against the latest security threats become stronger.
Additionally, cyber threats frequently target your data. This is precisely why it is considered to be a good practice to back up files and secure data in the event of a malware attack or data breach.
For instance, an employee ties a smartwatch while coming to their workplace. It is crucial to safeguard even a personal device with the most recent data security. When an employee comes to the office with his/her BYOD i.e., Bring Your Own Device, the IT department should be contacted. The employee should ask IT whether the device will be permitted to access company data before uploading anything into it. Employees should only use properly authorized applications for accessing sensitive data.
Which of these is not a good security practice for portable devices?
Are you wondering which of these is not a good security practice for portable devices? Here are some of them:
1. Not locking your mobile device with a password- It is one of the common ways of identity theft when you misplace your mobile phone or it gets stolen.
2. Not choosing the right mobile operating system for risk tolerance
3. Not monitoring websites and links carefully
4. Not updating your mobile operating system regularly