‘Cyber’ doesn’t have to be difficult to understand. Albeit complex, daunting and confusing in the first appearance, cyber security simply is a risk that needs to be managed and mitigated like any other. To take the necessary steps in the prevention of future risks, individuals and businesses require trusted counsel and expertise to both guide and support them in not only understanding these threats but also ensuring the appropriate actions needed to be taken.
High-profile individuals, business leaders and board members are particularly high-risk targets, but bespoke cyber risk solutions can be tailored to provide both reassurance and comprehensive protection. Robust and extensive policy and procedures go a long way to tackle existing and future vulnerabilities by significantly reducing the likelihood of motivated hackers breaching client data and private material.
Examples of these steps include: The use of strong passwords; updating software regularly; implementing quality technology; and improving the understanding of threats, not only to one individual but also to their wider team and internal stakeholders. Technology configured correctly is a good starting point, but it is the governance, understanding and training that surrounds it which leads to appropriate behaviour and limits in risk and exposure.
Typically, it is attitudes towards strong passwords and patch management that are overlooked due, in part, to their perceived simplicity or relevance. Yet, these are usually the first targets of vulnerability that would-be hackers will focus their attention on in the hope of compromise.
Emails designed to cause damage, typically used by hackers, are called ‘phishing emails’. These emails contain either ransomware links or malicious software that, when opened, sits in the victim’s system and records keystrokes, or even worse, steals private and corporate information. This has long-lasting consequences, both financially and from a reputation point of view.
Locking down sensitive information
Easy steps can also be taken to mitigate the risks facing mobile devices. If a business leader or board member loses a device, it’s important that the device can be wiped remotely to ensure strangers aren’t allowed access to its contents. Think of the information business leaders and board members have on their devices – it needs protecting.
Cyber specialists can provide full cyber security programmes to enable an individual and their team to understand the relevant threats facing them. Their help to implement procedures and practices that support good cyber governance will reduce the posing threat faced by the client.
Training is, therefore, essential for any prominent individual and their wider team. The complexities of software and the malicious vulnerabilities that can occur could see someone lose personal files, sensitive data, financial information or private messages and images, as well as provide access to the wider business network.
Threat prevention is firmly centred around training. What to look for and what-not-to-do forms the basis of good cyber governance. However, simple oversights include opening malicious links, downloading unknown software and posting geotagged images on social media.
Common questions business leaders and board members should ask:
- What is phishing?
- How do I know if something is potentially malicious?
- I’ve clicked on a link I think is malicious, what do I do now?
- How do I use the Internet safely?
- Should I be worried about the dark web?
- Are my devices secure?
- What is a good password?
- What’s two-factor authentication?
- How do I stop everybody looking at my social profiles?
- What are things useful to an attacker that I might publish with good intent?
- Is public WiFi dangerous?
The fear of cyber threats should not overly alarm business or cause their leaders to live their lives in a continuous flux of anxiety. Rather, they should be aware, proactive and knowledgeable about the potential risk they may face, and in turn, be supported by specialists who can articulate the solutions in simple, non-tech language.
Ultimately, it is the management of ‘cyber risk’, like every other risk, that empowers leaders to run their businesses and lives online with confidence and peace of mind.
If the information and self-auditing questions above leave you feeling unsure about your cyber security strategy, you may need to seek help from an experienced and professional company to help improve those issues. Speak to us today to find out more about how Mitigate can support your organisation.