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Using Communications Operations to Fight Cyber Crime

Using Communications Operations to Fight Cyber Crime

For those of you that have been following my newsletter in recent months, this issue (December) represents the wrap up of my 3-part series on cyber security in small business, with an emphasis on our core specialty, the independent communications industry.

To recap briefly, last October we talked about the basics of cyber security for your business, the many ways you can evaluate the cyber risks that may threaten your operations as well as timely security tips. In November we looked at putting together an anti-ransomware plan, steps you can take towards better small business cyber security and a few simple ways to up your cyber protection game. Point in fact, I have published a couple of these subjects before but I chose to re-print some of them in this 3 part series for added emphasis.

In this last segment of the series, we examine ways that small communications operations can fight cyber- crime, how to be proactive in your efforts to limit your exposure to this pervasive threat as well as the scoop on two-factor authentication and the benefits of using such an effective approach to protecting what you value most, your business and by extension your employees.

Speaking of employees, they are by far the weakest link in a company’s cyber protection plans. Employees bypassing cybersecurity precautions put organizations at risk. Cybersecurity is a crucial part of any business, but new research shows employees are overwhelmingly trying to skirt online precautions to access blocked websites or services.

One recent major industry report says 95 percent of organizations have employees trying to get around security measures in their workplace.

The report says these employees were using virtual private networks (VPNs), surfing the web anonymously through browsers, and/or using a hacking program like Metasploit, which tests system vulnerabilities.

That same report also finds that security breaches in companies are largely the result of employees, with 60 percent of breaches credited to insiders. Of those insider breaches, 68 percent are due to neglect, 22 percent are malicious attacks and 10 percent are caused by stolen credentials.

One of the alarming insights from these insider breaches has to do with employees storing information on cloud services, an incredibly popular way for saving data these days. Sixty-four percent of companies found corporate information publicly available online, because it was sourced from a cloud service. Many employees, 87 percent, are using their personal, web-based email accounts on company computers and devices, which opens company data to hackers.

The bottom line? Most security issues come from human negligence or abuse. So, if you gain nothing else from this 3- part series on cyber security, remember this, the focus should be on the employee. A solid internal cyber security operating policy, employee education and training, as well as your internal or external IT provider monitoring your systems is a surefire way to make your operation safer and more secure.

Finally, one last word. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!