Cybercriminals don’t take a holiday. In fact, the coming holidays are the busy season for hackers to wreak digital mischief. Black Friday and shopping online go hand in hand during today’s mostly online purchasing behaviors. Whether it’s Black Friday or Cyber Monday, many malicious threats can take advantage of your network’s security and therefore your personal data.
From a personal perspective, staying alert with your own personal data is always a good thing to keep in mind when doing your online shopping, however, as business owners we must also protect ourselves and our employees during the holidays. Before your employees start sorting through all of the online deals for tech-themed gear or the next popular item for the kids, you might want to improve your network and their cybersecurity awareness. Take a few precautionary measures in the next few weeks to keep your company’s network safe.
Keep Software Up to Date
The new year is right around the corner, and although you may be thinking “New Year, New Network Security” it’s never a good idea to put off ways to bolster your defenses. Before taking off for a holiday break, take the precautions you need and install any updates you might have been putting off. Don’t wait until the new year to keep a clean house. Organizations that don’t install the latest updates leave themselves vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Set Up Firewalls
Give a hacker a way in and they will take it, no questions asked. There are different ways for your business to stay safe and the most efficient is to set up a firewall. Firewalls work by protecting your internal networks from threats, which is why we recommend installing them not only on your servers, but on all office laptops, computers, and mobile devices too. This should keep your data safe and make a real difference in your security, but you will have to be proactive and keep them up to date - an alert that must be passed on to your employees.
Educate Your Employees on Cyber Safety
Although you may have the most sophisticated security that you can buy, top dollar security is no match for the bottom of the rung foolishness from employees. Be threat protective and educate your employees on the advantages of your security and how they can truly affect the system - positively and negatively. Having all of this technology at your disposal is no good if your team may put your business at risk by clicking infected pop-ups or falling for phishing scams. Teach your employees the safest ways to use the internet, and you’ll be at an advantage when the holiday shopping begins.
Strengthen Wireless Network Passwords
A few individuals on your team may not be as technologically savvy as you would like and may not know what an open network is. Around the holidays it’s even more important to secure your wireless network with extremely strong passwords that the average person has no hope of guessing. These should naturally protect your network with the strength of the passwords including both letters and numbers. However, some employees may find it harder to keep up with the difficulty of the password. Instead of jotting open passwords down on a sticky note in plain view, we would suggest you encourage your team to make a password a phrase. Something that is memorable but includes a length that may trip up potential threats. Also, train your employees to make frequent password changes to keep the team strong.
Despite our best efforts, cyber-attacks and data breaches do happen. Before heading out for the holidays, make sure that you and your employees are doing what they can to be alerted to suspicious sites during their online shopping that may put your business, and your data, at risk.
The bottom line: you should never take cybersecurity for granted, no matter the season. During the holidays, it pays to be even more vigilant and never let your guard down. Before you purchase too many items this season, contact Kobargo to schedule an assessment of your system’s security, and ask about any gadgets on your holiday gift list. In fact, it may be best to just casually remind everyone that online shopping isn’t meant for browsing at work, but as we know it’ll most likely happen anyway.
Kobargo Technology Partners delivers managed IT solutions and is a leader in authentication and security, to protect your data and brand from cybercriminals. Leverage our 50 years of experience to protect, manage, and support your network, data, and users. Visit us to learn more, about what we can do for you!