5 Cybersecurity Tips for the Workplace

Cyber security is increasingly important within companies. Here are 5 tips every employee should follow

The WannaCry and Petya cyber attacks have shined a spotlight on the importance of cybersecurity in the workplace. Malware, viruses, and ransomware spread rapidly due to users' inability to recognize the dangers hidden within emails and attachments.

If Wannacry and Petya managed to crash over a hundred thousand devices in a matter of hours, companies that don't invest in training are largely to blame. Excluding the IT department, the vast majority of employees don't know the difference between a virus and ransomware and will download any file sent to them via email. Or they click on links within emails, ending up in traps set by hackers. To help workers defend themselves against the dangers of the Web, Kaspersky researchers have uncovered five mistakes people make every day that threaten their company's IT security. Here's what they are.

Don't write your passwords down on a piece of paper

To access the various programs you use at work, you need to remember at least a couple of different passwords. And not everyone is able to do that. In order not to forget the security keys, many people save them on a piece of paper, but they make a big mistake. If the paper gets into the wrong hands, the personal data of the company and the employee will be in danger. For this reason, we suggest you use a password manager that not only keeps your security keys safe, but also generates passwords that are difficult to crack. There are a lot of them available on the Net and almost all of them are free.

Beware of free Wi-Fi networks

If you are out and about on business and need to connect to the Internet, a local Wi-Fi network is one of the few possible solutions. But before you connect to the free Wi-Fi network, you need to take some precautions, as wireless connections are targeted by hackers to steal users' information. First of all, do not try to use a VPN, so as to protect your connection. Also, don't use the free Wi-Fi network to make purchases from e-commerce sites using your credit card. This is exactly the information that hackers are looking for.

Don't use USB flash drives that you don't know about

Can a tiny device like a pendrive endanger the physical health of your computer? Of course it can. Hackers have managed to come up with devices that look like USB flash drives, but actually knock out your computer once connected. If you find a pendrive in a parking lot, throw it in a bucket or destroy it.

Watch out for phishing

Along with ransomware attacks (viruses that block access to computer data and demand a Bitcoin ransom to lift the restriction), phishing is the biggest danger to businesses large and small. But what is phishing? It's an online scam whereby hackers try to convince users to provide personal information such as bank account or credit card numbers. And how do they convince users? Through emails that appear to come from trusted sources (banks, associations, ministries), but are actually artfully crafted by hackers to make them look real. When you receive an e-mail in which you are asked to enter sensitive data, it is advisable to check a few things. First of all we must verify that the link on which we are invited to click is correct. Very often the URL looks like the original one, but it differs only for some letters. Secondly, do not download attachments lightly: if the message seems strange to you, it is better to investigate before infecting your PC.

Back Up

Even if you perfectly follow the decalogue of computer security at work, it may happen that you fall victim to a computer attack. And if a ransomware blocks our computer, we can hardly get our data back, unless we decide to pay (which we do not recommend). To avert these problems there is one thing that all companies (large and small) can do: make backups regularly. If you back up your data every day, formatting your PC will be enough to defeat ransomware.