| 19 September, 2017

5 tips for better workplace cybersecurity

Tremendous upsurge in cyber-attacks in the Middle East.

Image used for illustrative purposes. businessman pressing cyber security button on virtual screens

Image used for illustrative purposes. businessman pressing cyber security button on virtual screens

KUWAIT: Over the last few years, cyber criminals have adopted increasingly sophisticated attack techniques. As a result, we’ve seen a tremendous upsurge in cyber-attacks in the Middle East. Ransomware, for example, has gained notoriety by creating chaos across the region and the world.

According to the latest KSN ransomware report, the number of attack victims almost doubled between 2016 and 2017. While such cyber-attacks can be devastating for some organizations, they’re a wakeup call for others. Many have been encouraged to put their guards up and manage their IT security differently.

The first step is to have a rigid security solution in place; but that alone is not enough. According to a recent study by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International, 52% of businesses admit that employees are their biggest weakness in IT security and have contributed to 46% of cybersecurity incidents in the last year.

The saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ applies perfectly to the IT security world. Having a cyber-educated workforce is as important as the security solution, when it comes to combating internet threats. Cyber-aware employees can be the winning card in this never-ending battle against criminals, and help prevent, identify and predict attacks in advance.

Ransomware 101
Let’s face it; ransomware is here to stay, so we must do everything to educate ourselves about it. Ransomware can be easily avoided by taking simple measures such as not being tempted to click on suspicious links, not opening attachments from unknown or unrecognized sources, and installing security solutions on all endpoints, including computer and mobile devices. Backing up data regularly is also important and will help you recover smoothly in case you’ve fallen victim to a ransomware attack.

Finding the right balance
An astounding 44% of companies say that employees do not follow IT security policies. Businesses need to strike the right balance between policy and engagement to help prevent staff carelessness and strengthen security solutions.

Flag, don’t hide
Educate your staff on cyber threats regularly. This will help raise awareness among employees and encourage them to pay attention and flag issues rather than hide them. According to our study, employees often fail to act when a security breach hits their company. In 40% of businesses around the world, employees hide an incident when it happens, perhaps because they are worried about being punished. This is more of a problem among larger businesses than smaller businesses.

Always stay updated
Software companies often find vulnerabilities in their applications and issue immediate updates to patch them. It is important to encourage staff to install these updates in a timely mannerso that your organization retains its immunity.

Chose strong passwords
Enforce measures that require employees to choose complex passwords for their devices, especially if your organization embraces BYOD. Unique passwords for every device will minimize chances of infiltration and will make it difficult for cyber criminals to reach their goals.

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