Addressing Cyber-Security Risks and Challenges
COVID-19 has made us rethink how we go about our daily lives, such as wearing masks, hand-washing, and working remotely. For most of us, data collection and cyber-security probably isn’t on our pandemic radar. And that plays right into hacker’s hands.
According to a recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO), creative cyber-criminals are tricking victims into clicking malicious links and attachments, donating money to bogus causes and giving away personal information – all in the name of COVID.
In fact, in the early stages of the pandemic, the WHO reported a dramatic increase in the number of cyber-attacks directed at its staff, and overall email scams targeted at the public. Even heavy hitters, such as Google and Microsoft, are not immune to email interruption scams, as evidenced by hacks from phishing emails. And the number of lures is only expected to continue to rise.
Here are several ways to address cyber-security challenges and empower your employees to make effective decisions and follow technology protocols for best practices. Not to mention, add a layer of empathy and trust.
Enhance Trust and Educate Employees
It all starts with your team.
The biggest cyber-security threat before the pandemic was a computer virus – not a human virus. The game changed in 2020, and companies had to scramble and protect their assets and intellectual property from cyber-attacks and sophisticated scams. And while there are several technical channels to meet this challenge, such as enabling multi-factor authentication and staying updated on current scams, it’s also essential to use this opportunity to talk to your team.
One effective strategy for discussing cyber-security protocols is leading with empathy and encouraging open dialogue. Cyber-security is always a work in progress. By empowering your employees to be accountable and speak up about their mistakes, you build trust and provide a voice for your team. Building trust also gives them goalposts along the way to avoid scams and keeps productivity at a high pace.
In addition to open dialogue, be mindful that company-provided remote work computers and employee access to email on personal mobile devices can also create cyber-security risks. According to Security Boulevard, a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds, with an average cost of more than $47,000! Adding cyber-security training to your learning and development protocols is imperative for educating employees on avoiding and combatting security breaches from laptop losses.
Increase Data Privacy and Security
Now that your team is on board and ready to fight cyber-attacks as a unit, is your artificial intelligence (AI) and educational technology in place to defend against attacks? If not, consider adding it as an alternative approach for predicting and managing movements, and improving team performance and adoption levels.
How you collect data also matters. Cyber-breaches compromise a non-exhaustive data list of proprietary information – not to mention the harm it can cause to brand reputation and bottom lines.
Speaking of financial fallbacks, does the scope and scale of your cyber-insurance policy match client security expectations? Does it include global coverage? For that matter, do you even have cyber-insurance? In case of a cyber-attack, is there a public relations (PR) policy in place to prevent permanent reputation damage? Cyber-attacks don’t have to be a disaster if you effectively share what happened, how it happened, and why it won’t happen again.
If the recent Insights publication from RBC Global Asset Management is any indication, big banks are listening. It released tips and best practices to increase data privacy and security and reduce cyber-breaches. Essential information includes verifying your compliance with privacy laws, confirming individual consent and data rights, and verifying data privacy and security.
Get Ahead of the Learning Curve
Given that the current conditions will continue as a trend over 2021 and that employees are more likely to work remotely than in a traditional office setting, it makes dollars and sense to address and remove cyber-risks now – instead of later. This includes clear cyber-security protocols, communication policies for the latest scams, empowering your employees with accountability, and planning for the worst-case scenario with issue messaging.
Get ahead of the curve and employ best security practices, and apply safeguarding techniques, such as data encryption and remote-wiping, so you can keep essential information from cyber-thieves. Invest in strong education programs in place to increase digital skills and elevate learning with superb knowledge experiences.
You can never be too careful.
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About Xpan Interactive:
We develop digital knowledge solutions. From design to deployment, our team is making heroes of Learning and Development professionals. We contribute to the global number of individuals improving their workplace experiences (and lives) with better learning.