Hidden Security Risks that Threaten Your Business


Unbelievably, 22 percent of US-based executives report they’re not being reactive regarding IT (information security).

This is according to PwC’s 2016 Global Economic Crime Survey. Is your business among those that lack a strategy for safeguarding your precious assets, including your money, customer information, and intellectual property? If so, you should consider that 41 percent of US respondents experienced a security threat in the last year. It’s time you took notice of the hidden security threats putting your business at risk.

Mobile Data Security Threats

In terms of business, mobile data can be defined in a number of ways. Of course, the traditional definition is that it’s a way for mobile users to gain a wireless connection to the Internet. It’s also BYOD, or bring your own device. It’s also how your mobile workforce (work at home employees, salespeople, etc.) take data from your business to their location. And, the threat to your mobile data is significant.

So, how can you ensure that devices you don’t even own are protected? The first step is educating your mobile workforce about the dangers of transferring viruses; then, teach them to recognize the signs of phishing attempts and malware. Lastly, don’t allow them to connect unprotected devices to any of your on-site devices or to your cloud. Instead, have them use an encrypted flash drive, which is military-grade protection for main street prices. You can learn more about these drives at SecureUSB.com.

IoT Device Security Threats

More and more things are connected to the Internet, which means there are more things for hackers to target. From company cars to the smart thermostat, you need to ensure your IoT (Internet of things) devices are protected. You can ascribe to item-by-item cyber security, or invest in a third-party cyber-security provider to monitor your network round-the-clock.

Here are a few ways mobile devices threaten your business and how you can protect yourself:

  • Malware or hacked info: require all of your employees to download virus protection software and encrypt sensitive data; also, encrypt your cloud data or any data that can be accessed remotely.
  • Lost or stolen phones: encourage your employees to use strong passwords, so their lost or stolen phone’s data can’t be accessed. Again, encrypted data is most protected.
  • Phones used for personal and business use: just don’t. If you are providing the device, tell your employees that work phones are for work only.

Phishing Scam Security Threats

Back in February, an employee at Snapchat (the mobile app for trading pics and vids) was duped into believing a hacker was the company’s CEO Evan Spiegel. A number of employees had their privacy violated and their identities compromised because an employee responded to a legitimate looking email. The email requested the payroll information for both existing and ex-employees.

Phishing scams are difficult to detect, even with advanced cybersecurity. Yes, a good email provider will filter out most of the spam, but how does it know a legitimately created email address is spam if it’s targeting just a single person? It may not, which is why the only real protection from phishers is training your employees to detect the scams.

Considering financial and intellectual property losses are the most common impact of a security incident, you can’t afford not to protect your business. Don’t wait until you’re another victim. Recognize those hidden security risks that are threatening your business, and take reactive measures to ensure hackers can’t exploit your vulnerabilities.

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