October 15, 2019

National Cyber Security Awareness Month: Keeping Your Modern Workplace Secure

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and there is no better time learn more about how to protect your organization against potential threats.
Shred-it’s 2019 Data Protection Report revealed consumer confidence in data security is very low, with more than half (60%) believing their personal data and information is less secure than it was a decade ago. Consumer trust is also fragile, with nearly one in four consumers (23%) saying they would stop doing business with a company that experienced a breach.
This should come as no surprise, given two-thirds (68%) of businesses reported that their organization experienced at least one data breach in the past 12 months. This troubling statistic comes courtesy of a new report from Shred-it titled Security of Confidential Documents in the Workplace. The survey, conducted by the Ponemon Institute, reveals the cyber security and physical security mistakes employees and managers make that may be contributing to a rise in data breaches.
The shift to a more modern workplace, with organizations embracing remote and flexible work, is opening employers up to new security challenges too. However, this same shift also gives organizations a new opportunity to educate employees about how to protect against potential physical and digital breaches. 

Protecting Your Company's Data 

The good news is there are steps every organization can take to protect themselves from threats, no matter where their employees are located. Here are a few tips to keep your modern workplace secure:

  1. Make sure your organization has a strong remote work policy in place. The key is to ensure there is a clear and well-understood process for employees to follow if a cyber security breach does occur. It is also important to conduct regular employee surveys to monitor the adoption of the policy and to flag any concerns that may arise. 
  2. Teach employees to protect all digital and paper documents  as well as all devices. For example, employees should keep sensitive information locked away, securely shred paper documents  when no longer needed, and dispose of old hard drives  correctly. 
  3. Never allow employees to use public Wi-Fi without using a VPN. Make sure your IT team provides employees with a secure VPN to remotely access their data and is available to support remote workers throughout the day.
  4. Implement a Clean Desk Policy to ensure employees do not leave documents or devices unattended in public spaces (including your office desk!).  This reduces the risk of confidential information being seen and/or taken by fraudsters in the office.
  5. Educate employees on how to avoid phishing scams. By training your employees on phishing scam warning signs, you can avoid the amount of times phishing emails get opened.
  6. Install and update anti-virus software and other virtual safeguards. Stay safe by setting up automatic updates and patches for software and operating systems.
  7. Implement a strong password protocol. A good password is one of the first lines of defense against cyber security threats yet most employees end up selecting weak passwords inadvertently. Instead, be creative and use unique passwords for each account. Do not share your password with anyone and never write it down and leave it on your desk.

Start Protecting Your Modern Workplace

Keep your modern workplace secure with the help of Shred-it. Learn more about how we can protect your documents and hard drives , by  contacting us to get a free quote and security risk assessment.