December 10, 2015

Why Improving Holiday Security Should Be On Your Wish List

Did you know that December 24th and 25th are two of the worst days for fraud? Fraud prevention firm Forter reports that rates soar by more than 200% compared to the average fraud rate.

This telltale statistic is a good reminder that not all is merry and bright come the holidays.

In fact, organizations of all sizes must be on guard. Most people think of cyber thieves just targeting P.O.S. systems and shoppers, but malware, phishing and other spam campaigns will arrive in the workplace too.

Here’s a guide to improving holiday security in your workplace.

  • It’s a given in most workplaces that employees are going to be online more often shopping, browsing, and being in touch about holiday activities. Information thieves comb through these social pages for information they can use in scams. Holiday e-card greetings are popular too. But cyber criminals also send e-cards that lead recipients to malicious websites..
  • Mobile transactions are a huge fraud risk. According to a article, ‘card-not-present fraud, which is growing, accounted for 45% of credit card fraud in the United States in 2014 followed by counterfeit card fraud (37%) and lost/stolen cards (14%). Also, as part of a mobile security policy, all devices should be equipped with anti-virus, anti-malware and other protection. 
  • Everyone gets caught up in the rush of the holidays, and there’s an increased risk that smart phones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices are lost or stolen (more than one million smart phones were stolen last year, according to the Federal Communications Commission). Never leave them unattended in public places or visible in parked cars.
  • As part of the company’s data security policy, when taking work home for the holidays employees should remove only the information that is absolutely necessary to do the job.   
  • Beware of office scams. Cyber thieves send fake invoices for products or services, or emails that look like they’re from businesses like UPS or FedEx. But links to tracking information go to malicious websites. Carefully check that all purchases, deliveries, etc., are legitimate.  
  • With more visitors in the workplace, be sure the Clean Desk Policy is enforced to protect confidential information on hard drives and in paper form. Employees should always lock down computers and equipment, and leave their work area clear of documents.
  • Provide a tips hotline for skeleton staff members in the office through the holidays. Inside fraudsters often use this quiet time to steal information.
  • Do not stockpile ageing or obsolete computers including mobile devices. Confidential information on hard drives can still be accessed by information thieves. Partner with a document destruction company for secure hard drive and e-media destruction services.

For more information around keeping your workplace secure over the holiday season, checkout our office security infographic.