Five basic cyber-hygiene tips for generation ‘work anywhere’

The rise of flexibility in workplaces comes with both advantages and risks.

Regus found that 72% of global businesses report increased productivity as a direct result of flexible working practices, with 68% declaring increased revenue as a result of employees working flexibly.

It is also the reason we are witnessing an increase in cyber security job vacancies in the UK

Evolution of cybercrime

It is easy to oversimplify the concept of cyber security – and businesses need to do more than simply inform staff that data is ‘confidential’.  They should explain why this matters and prioritise investing in cyber security to defend attacks from hackers and reduce fraud.

On a most basic level, cyber criminals seek to steal sensitive data through spyware, malware and other illicit applications. The cost to businesses? Just look at the intensity of the Ashley Madison hack this year – where hackers posted the details of 37 million members of the infidelity site.

Cyber-hygiene tips for the new generation

1.Download software updates as soon as they appear

Vital security updates can be missed if updates are postponed, leaving your device open for hackers. If measures as basic as antivirus software are put in place (on all your devices) as soon as they are presented, you will immediately be reducing the risk of your data being compromised.

2.Master mobile security

There is a reason mobile data features highly on the list of cyber security job requirements. As we work from a wider range of devices, we must work harder to secure information on all of them. Understanding how data enters through mobile apps, how it exits, how authentication is achieved and who has access to it is crucial to prevent cybercrime.

3.Be vigilant of phishing emails

Firewalls have become so sophisticated that hackers have decided to adopt ‘social engineering’ attacks. These malicious actors trick members of staff into providing usernames, passwords and other details that can be used to log into networks (as seen in the jihadist cyber attack against French television channel TV5Monde this year). Be suspicious of any email that urges immediate action, fake prizes, ominous attachments or fake URLs.

4.Take care of devices outside the office

There is nothing worse than that sinking feeling, as you realise you have left a valuable item in a public place. That anxiety could be ten times worse if your laptop, mobile or documents containing sensitive information got into the wrong hands. Be aware – as you open up your laptop on the train or in a cafe – that the risks are increasing.

5.Review your security controls as a team

Understanding exactly what is at risk – your money, information and reputation- should be shared by everyone you work with. The government offers free online training courses to ensure every employee in a business is on the same page when it comes to cyber security threats and how to deal with them. Look at the effectiveness of your security controls together, putting any that are missing in place.