Ok, so this year we’re hopping on the ‘Christmas’ content bandwagon – but it’s for a good reason, we promise. For many businesses, Christmas is the busiest time of year, either because more customers are buying from you, or because you’re rushing around to get all your client work done in time for the holidays.
But that also means that December is when your data is at the most risk. Retailers take more transactions at Christmas than at any other time of year, and office based businesses lock their doors and leave their data unattended for weeks over the festive break. So how exactly do you keep your data secure during Christmas?
Before everyone disappears across the country for the Christmas holidays, it’s worth checking the current state of all account login details. Have they been updated recently? Are they all secure? According to data from LastPass, 91% of adults in the UK are aware that reusing passwords across different accounts is risky, but amazingly 61% of them still do it anyway. This significantly increases the chances of getting hacked, and puts your entire business at risk.
Of course, it’s never easy to think of and remember so many different combinations of characters and numbers (we’re only human), so the easiest thing to do is to use an enterprise password manager so that teams can create randomised sequences for each account. This ensures everything is secure, and means your IT department won’t be bombarded with password reset requests when someone forgets.
Spread Awareness of Phishing Scams
Festive emails are flying around faster than Santa’s reindeer on Christmas eve, and unfortunately it’s all too easy for employees caught up in the holiday rush to be less vigilant about what they click on. It’s also not uncommon for employees to spend more time online during December either – whether it’s to buy presents, give to charities or just download some Christmas music for the office.
And while all of this isn’t a security risk per se, it does dramatically increase the likelihood that an employee could click on a rogue link. This could result in a malicious attack, malware or spyware being added to the device they’re using. The average number of email scams tends to triple around Christmas time, capitalising on the fact that people are shopping online, looking for bargains or feeling short of cash, so it’s wise to re-train your staff about email phishing scams now, share the details of any you know are circulating, and increase awareness around the importance of knowing what you’re clicking on.
Shore Up Office Security
Many people today think that data security is all about digital protection. And a lot of it is. But your data is also vulnerable to real world threats – from theft to natural disaster – and physical security is an important element of the data security package. Empty offices are very appealing to seasonal data thieves, so before you turn off all the lights and go home for a week or two, you should make sure that your office is secure.
No paperwork containing sensitive information (like client details or personal identifiable information) should be left lying around, and every workstation should be password protected and turned off. If you want to be extra careful, you might choose to disconnect them all from the internet as well. In short, everything should be hidden and locked away, so that even if someone does get into your office while you’re away, they won’t be able to easily find anything.
At Bridewell, we know just how important your data is to you and your business. But protecting that data is a year round job, and it doesn’t clock off for the holidays like the rest of us.
Our cyber security experts can not only find the weaknesses in your systems, but we can help you understand how to improve your security across the board as well.