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Common Cybersecurity Mistakes Made at The Workplace

Friday, 21 January 2022, 22:24 IST
By SiliconIndia

Common Cybersecurity Mistakes Made at The Workplace

Large organizations, tech-savvy people, and cybersecurity specialists are a minority well versed in securing their networks and devices. Unfortunately, most of the world is not yet prepared to face cyber-risks. On the other hand, cybercrime is readier than ever. When it comes to business, the fact is that cybersecurity awareness gets even more serious. It is well understood that workplace digital safety hygiene is a top priority for all involved, and even those that are not involved but find themselves somewhere in the supply chain, like customers and clients.

If an organization deals with a lot of customers, or even still with high-profile clients, the importance of digital safety hygiene at the workplace becomes even more immediate. It is even riskier if a business entity stores intellectual property or sensitive records. Sometimes, the problems can affect even those that are not directly involved with a company’s dealings. This is known as the knock-on or domino effect.

Unfortunately, digital security (information security) is not always the top priority for the public, and organizations. It usually takes a historic event for organizations and nations around the world to correlate cybersecurity with the outright survival of a business. This is a time when an entire nation’s nation defenses can be compromised remotely. The evidence tells us that cyber-risks are very real, and have since translated into real-world damage e.g. digital sabotage of important sectors like finance, medicine, and infrastructure.

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is a significant information security industry estimated at an estimated $150 billion today. It entails the tools and knowledge required to fight against cyber-incidents e.g. threat detection, backup protection, cybersecurity tools, employee training, etc. It is also an industry that aims to teach security best practices, enforce standards and frameworks, ensure compliance, as well as spread awareness about cyber-risks.

Organizations and institutions that operate in cybersecurity either offer hardware and security solutions for the defense against cybercrime, knowledge, and training in cybersecurity, or both. By 2026, this industry is expected to reach a value of around $350 billion, more than double what it is at present.

With the global shutdown of traditional brick-and-mortar workplaces and the transfer to remote/digital, the cybersecurity industry is only going to grow more and become a higher priority.

The statistics also show us a lot to be concerned about. Hackers (cybercriminals technically speaking) are a serious problem nowadays. It is estimated that the fastest growing industries such as the tech sector are constantly dealing with digital crime. Countries like Germany are facing financial sector attacks, Uzbekistan is facing cryptominers, Algeria is fighting with extreme malware incidents, and Bangladesh in India is known for mobile attacks. The United States, of course, is probably the most targeted country overall. This is just a small snippet of what is happening every day. Where security is tight and leaks are well managed in countries like Japan, Denmark, Sweden, and surprisingly Ukraine cyber-incidents are comparably much lower.

Immeasurable and irreversible damage has been dealt with in the world economy as a result of malware and cybercrime. Every year, it is estimated that the world economy is dealt with $600 billion in damages on average as a result of cyber-incidents. For this reason, security spending is rising quickly in sectors such as; government, telecoms, resources, banking, and the medical industry.

Common Cybersecurity Workplace Mistakes

The workplace concept today is no longer a physical workplace in many cases but is remote and disconnected from the physical. This holds for the majority of sectors in the economy unless the work explicitly involves manual labor and participation is not possible from a computer or device. However, cybersecurity risks are equally concerning for both environments as there are still companies that physically operate from an office.

The most sensitive asset a company has access to today is data. Data is no longer something that has to be stored in big folders filled with paper documents. The digital revolution and the internet have given us many new possibilities for storing data that are infinitely faster and easier to interact with.

When it comes to data, the most popular way of storing data today is on cloud servers that are made possible by cloud computing technology. That data is accessed by either employers or employees via either a personal device or a work device which by default has to have an internet connection. There are already several immediate risks that are established once these factors come into play.

When it comes to cybersecurity risks at the workplace, the following are the most common ways a cybersecurity risk can arise;

  • Failure to ensure properly secured passwords

  • Failure to apply data backups in the proper way

  • Failure to secure personal devices used for work

  • Failure to use internet best practice while using the internet

  • Failure to keep software updated and maintain software

  • Failure to configure hardware systems properly

  • Failure to understand the dangers of phishing and business email compromise

The scope of cyber-risks has changed greatly over the course of this decade. Phishing and ransomware are by far the most common way cybercrime is perpetrated as these schemes have shown to be the most efficient with the highest profit gained. No longer are simple viruses and floppy-disk infections a thing, but fileless attacks, spoofed websites, and IoT compromise. Once a vulnerable workplace entry point has been found, cybercriminals can employ an arsenal of automated tools to move laterally and infect the rest of the network.

Employing an MSSP (Managed Security Service Provider) is a popular choice these days, as rarely do modern companies have time to train their employees in cybersecurity and keep workflow efficient at the same time. However, since most cyber-risks are a cause of human error and misjudgment, it is important that all individuals in an organization have a basic level of security knowledge.

The need for tight cybersecurity is a justified paranoia in modern times, and should eventually become the default, especially when dealing with any type of sensitive information.