Article by Altaf Halde, Managing Director, Kaspersky Lab–South Asia
From time to time, we all need to turn to our IT specialists for help. It’s not a problem if you’re trying to set up your office computer, configure your email on your smartphone or update software. But it’s a big deal if you have to ask for help after being hit by cybercrime. Maybe your smartphone, containing data on company sales, has gone missing and you need to protect it. Maybe your office computer has become infected with a virus that affects your work, deleting or transferring important data when you need it.
In such situations, if you’re turning to the IT team for help, thechances are that there has been a violation of security policies. There’s a big risk that data will be lost or stolen and that the company could suffer losses as a direct result (downtime, loss of customers, reputational damage, theft of money from the company’s accounts, disclosure of confidential information, etc.)
But you can do a lot to avoid these situations if you pay more attention to your own IT security rather than relying on a specialist to bail you out.Remember that ordinary company executives form the first line of cyber defense and much depends on their behavior.
To be on the safe side, it helps to observe a few simple rules that could protect both you and your company. Some of these rules may seem obvious, but – as many companies have learned through painful experience – they are not always followed, and all too often not every employee is aware of them.
Do not trust suspicious emails!
If you receive an email with an unknown link, attachment or a request to provide private or corporate data, do not open it straight away – even if it has been sent from a familiar address. It’s quite possible that fraudsters are trying to trick you into giving them access to the company’s confidential information.
Do not immediately click on a link even if it seems familiar to you. Hover over it with your mouse and check that its address coincides with the address specified in the email (you will see it in the pop-up window).
Do not assume that an email with a link, attachmentor personal data request is secure if it comes from a familiar address. Confirm that it really was sent by your colleague or friend.
Do not use your business email address for personal activities or sooner or later you couldreceive something such as a phishing email with a notification from Facebook or LinkedIn.
Only use scanned USB media!
Avoid using other people’s USB media. If you have to use another person’s USB media, scan it first for malware. Be careful with any media received as a gift, especially if you do not really know the person who gave it to you.
USB sticks are great for storing and transferring data, but they are also easy to lose or steal. Ensure that the data on the media is stored in an encrypted form so it will be useless to any third party who might acquire it.
Stay tuned for more!