Cybersecurity is critical to the health and operation of businesses large and small, and today’s cybercriminals are employing ever more sophisticated methods to access your sensitive data. If your workers are visiting inappropriate or malicious websites on your company’s devices, they may be putting you at increased risk for cyberattack.
A recent survey by Spiceworks asked companies about their user monitoring policies. The most commonly cited reasons for employee monitoring were to protect against malware or phishing scams (78%), to prevent unacceptable behavior such as visiting adult or gambling sites (68%), and to guard against legal issues (61%). Other popular reasons cited included limiting data leaks and protecting sensitive customer data. Most monitoring by respondents was focused on users’ email and online browsing behavior.
So how can you prevent your employees from visiting sites that could leave your data and your business vulnerable to attack? And how can you educate your workers to avoid putting company data at risk? Let’s take a look at some strategies you can put to work today.
Web filtering is a tech solution that prevents a user’s browser from opening sites that are deemed inappropriate or potentially malicious. Most web filters work in one of two ways: they can block certain web pages based on the quality of the site or they can evaluate and block web pages based on their content. Many work from a database that identifies the sites and domains associated with malware, ransomware, phishing scams, etc. You may either identify specific sites you wish to block your workers from seeing (also called “blacklisting”), or you may allow workers to access only a list of approved sites while blocking all others (a practice called “whitelisting”). Whichever method you choose, website filtering helps limit employees’ non-work-related online behavior and can greatly reduce your company’s vulnerability to scammers and hackers.
A network inventory is essential to your business’s internal controls over information technology. The aim of a network inventory is to generate a complete and current snapshot of all network elements—including laptops, servers, printers, hubs, routers, switches, and software. Such inventories typically include any device with an IP address. A network inventory lets IT managers identify all devices currently being used by employees and generates a comprehensive list of all software used by each device. Knowing the configuration and software used by each device helps you assess and close potential entry points that might appear tempting to cybercriminals.
Bandwidth is defined as the amount of data transferred in a set timeframe, which is most often measured in bits per second. Bandwidth monitoring can help improve network performance and can help identify devices that are viewing or downloading high-bandwidth content. Employers often use mapping software to identify any devices that are being used to view video, gaming, gambling, or other high-bandwidth content during business hours.
Acting as electronic sentries, log monitoring systems observe network activity, inspect system events, and store user actions occurring within your OS. So, when a worker downloads a file or opens an attachment, that information is saved and stored for later review. A log review can quickly identify any anomalies, such as errors or suspicious activity on any company device.
Whatever your cybersecurity protocols, your employees should be made aware of your company’s policy regarding the viewing of personal material on company time. You can also conduct regular “savvy user” workshops to equip your employees with some basic cybercrime knowledge (like how to recognize the signs of a phishing scams to prevent data loss).
We hope these tips will help you create a more focused, accountable, and productive work environment while reducing your company’s vulnerability to cybercrime. At Waterdog Computer Works, we work closely with each client to determine their needs and to develop practical, cost-effective solutions. Our cybersecurity expertise can help you identify and eliminate potential vulnerabilities to better safeguard your business. Contact us today and discover what Waterdog Computer Works can do for you!
Located in Wayne, Pa, Waterdog Computer Works is a complete IT solutions and cybersecurity provider serving businesses throughout Philadelphia’s western Main Line. Focused and responsive, Waterdog Computer Works offers a two-hour emergency response time guarantee, no-risk contracts and a team of technicians with over 75 years of combined experience. Call us at 484.580.8568 to speak to a member of our team.