The ILOVEYOU virus spread rapidly in 2000 affecting almost 80% of Fortune 100 companies because Microsoft users opened an email with the subject ILOVEYOU. They thought was from friends and associates. MyDoom holds the record for being the fastest spreading and most damaging email-based viruses. It caused almost $38 billion in damage to computers, and targeted tech companies like Google and Microsoft. Employees and users clicking on links and emails spread many of these viruses. After the virus infects the company network, many IT Directors are helpless to stop it. Employees have become the weakest link in cybersecurity for financial services, government institutions, non-profits and law firms.
Malware and Ransomeware costs companies of all sizes billions of dollars every year. Computers are networked (linked) together via cloud based software, hardware and wireless networks. When an employee exposes their computer to a virus, it spreads via their contact list (Outlook or Salesforce CRM). IT Directors cannot control every computer and device on their network. Employee education and training minimize many of the problems.
Our classes teach financial advisors and their clients to identify and minimize the weakest link in cybersecurity: employees habits.
- Don’t Click – Don’t open or click suspicious emails. ILOVEYOU spread when employees saw emails from their CEO that said I LOVE YOU. Do not click or open banners ads, strange websites and pop ups. Report strange occurrences immediately to your IT or cybersecurity team. This rule applies to laptops, desktops and mobile devices (i.e. – iPhones, tablets and
- Surf Responsibly – Don’t use the Starbucks, Panera or Marriott open wifi. Employees don’t know the status of the other computers on the network. Free networks are convenient and easy to use, but those free networks are not secure. Invest in a personal hotspot from AT&T or Verizon to protect your information and company assets.
- Password Safety – Password management is the weakest link in cybersecurity personally and professionally. Passwords slow down access to financial, legal and social information. That inconvenience protects users from hackers, malware and phishing. Employees should change passwords regularly and, they should use complex passwords to prevent hacking.
- Social Engineering – People share excessive amounts of information on social media (e.g. – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). This is a gateway into a person’s life at home and work. Turn off location services when taking pictures and sharing content. These sites lead to “friends” who use your information for phishing and spam. Employees should be trained on the corporate social media policy to protect company assets.
Hacking costs the global economy $400 billion annually, and many of these are preventable. Email, hardware, mobile technology and social media affect a firms’ cybersecurity best practices. Train every employee who uses a computer or device on the network to be responsible and safely surf the web. It is the best way to protect company assets.
Scientifically Speaking, of course…