Over the last month or two, as businesses around the world grapple with the effects of the pandemic, many people have found themselves working from home and relying heavily on video chat technology. We’re lucky to have this communication tool as we attempt to be productive and communicate with coworkers amid the distraction of working from home. But is videoconferencing technology really safe?
As applications like Zoom have exploded in popularity during the pandemic, serious security flaws have come to light. Companies need to be aware of the risks of using Zoom and other applications and must be prepared to reduce and prevent cyberattacks.
So how can you protect your company from hacks over Zoom while still gathering your team virtually? Here are some tips.
Have You Been Zoombombed?
Potential privacy and surveillance vulnerabilities are serious issues that all companies must be aware of when using Zoom. But there’s another worrying trend that’s disrupting some virtual meetings: “Zoombombing.” Since Zoom’s popularity has grown exponentially, more users are reporting harassment during meetings.
Zoombombing describes the disruption of a meeting by an uninvited user, who then spams the meeting with messages of hate, pornography, child abuse, and other explicit content. If you’ve been Zoombombed, you probably already know it. If you haven’t, you can probably still imagine how unsettling it might be.
The Zoombombing phenomenon is upsetting, disruptive, and often involves illegal activity, but it’s not the only security flaw with Zoom. Even if your meetings haven’t been Zoombombed, you should still be concerned about the possibility of illicit recordings, surveillance, and other privacy issues.
When Developing a Current Strategy, Keep Future Cyber Security Attacks In Mind
Cybersecurity is a growing field for a simple reason: we’re growing ever more dependent on technology and connectivity, leaving us vulnerable to cyberattacks. Security experts have to constantly work to stay ahead of hackers, but there’s no way to prevent every single breach from occurring.
But that doesn’t mean your company can just give up on security. When developing your strategy, you just have to keep in mind that cybercriminals are always trying new tactics. It isn’t just about Zoom; it’s about the tools your company uses every day to operate online.
It’s important to make your cybersecurity solutions as future-proof as possible while acknowledging that your strategy will need to change over time. Using tools like Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and password managers can help your organization reduce weaknesses within your organization and prevent hackers from gaining access to sensitive data.
If You’re Having Trouble Getting Leadership Buy-In, Use Stats to Highlight Rise of Cyber Security Needs
If your organization has never fallen victim to a major data breach or another cyberattack, then it can be hard for leadership to take the problem seriously. But if your company waits to take security seriously until a breach does occur, it could damage or even destroy the business very quickly. Financial consequences, data loss, reputation damage, and loss of trust from customers or clients are all very real possibilities after a cyberattack.
Getting buy-in from leadership is crucial for advancing your company’s cybersecurity strategy. If you’re having trouble getting your managers to take the issue seriously, then you might want to start by sharing this shocking statistic with them: Cybercrime is projected to cost the global economy $6 trillion every year by 2021!
Giving leadership “proof” with stats might be key for getting them to take cybersecurity seriously. If they keep brushing you off, ask what it would take for them to invest in security. Whatever it takes to get the buy-in!
Rethink “BYOD” Policies
Work and life have begun to blur together in the last few months. Many people left their offices abruptly, not knowing they’d be working from home for weeks on end. Others work on desktops in the office and don’t have access to a company laptop.
Some organizations allow and even encourage employees to use their own devices. This cuts down on costs and hassle for the company and employees don’t have to keep track of multiple devices. However, there are hidden security risks involved with these Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies.
Because people are usually not very mindful of privacy vulnerabilities on their personal devices, using them for work can open up companies to data breaches, especially in industries that require the collection of sensitive personal information. It’s hard to enforce security protocols like two-factor authentication and regular password changes when employees are using personal devices and they’re more likely to visit sites that could open up vulnerabilities.
Investing in portable equipment for every employee is a smart long-term strategy. It may be costly upfront, but it ensures that everyone will be able to work and video chat safely, reducing opportunities for data breaches. Plus, dedicated work equipment can help employees create some much-needed separation between work and home life when working from home.
Make Sure Employees Keep Track of Their Digital Footprints
Whether they’re using company equipment or their own devices, employees are often the weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity. We click on links we shouldn’t, use unsecured Wi-Fi networks, or don’t change our passwords often (or ever!).
To protect your company from hacking, employees need to have adequate training and must understand how to manage their digital footprint. They should keep track of all the sites where they have accounts and should delete any accounts they’re not using.
It’s also important to enforce safe password management and regular software updates to reduce vulnerabilities. Consider implementing two-factor authentication to make sure employees’ accounts aren’t being compromised by hackers. Cybersecurity can sometimes be an annoyance during your daily workflows, but the alternative is far, far worse.