Businessman using data protection

There is an old saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. That is definitely the way it works for cyber security. Unfortunately, many employees in some companies have proven themselves to be the weak link in their network security chain.

Staying one step ahead of cybercriminals is what New Edge Technology Solutions is known for. We want to make you aware of just how easy and prevalent it is for hackers to stalk, impersonate, or sweet talk their way into gaining access to your most private and secure information.

1. Employees Must be Kind but Firm

One of the first things we cannot stress enough is that employees need to be kind but firm when it comes to security. If you use your keycard or entry log-in to open a building door, then you should not hold the door open for someone walking up behind you. We know that this idea is rude and many people feel awkward closing a door in someone else’s face.  But criminals often count on that kind of kindness and social awkwardness to gain entry into a building.

If they legitimately have a need to be in the building, then they can use their own credentials to gain access. This also goes for people that you may be familiar with from around the building. You know the type here—that person you’ve seen around whose name you may not know, but you know that they work in another department. If you allow them in, you may be letting a disgruntled former employee enter the building who is seeking to get payback for being fired.

2. Security is a Priority At All Times

Another way that employees have been guilty of giving physical access to the building is with rocks and trashcans. If an employee uses these or any other item to prop open an external door, they are leaving the building open to intruders. Sure, your rationalization may be that you are just running to your car or taking out your trash and you’ll be right back in a second. But that small time frame is just long enough for someone to enter the building or disable the door so that it won’t lock when you come back in.

3. Don’t Let Appearance And Smooth Talk Sway You

Yet another way that hackers can gain entry is just with a nice set of clothes and a fake ID. You would be amazed how many hackers have gained entry to a building by dressing up and claiming to be someone there to install new equipment or work on existing equipment. Once inside, they literally have the keys to the kingdom. That’s why if you encounter someone like this, you should have them wait in the lobby area until you can get someone to verify that the person is who he says he is.

4. Be Wary of Lost USB Drives

Once inside the building, a hacker doesn’t have to gain physical access to a computer. They can simply walk into a lobby and “mistakenly drop” a USB flash drive on the ground.  A person’s natural instinct upon spotting one of these is to pop it into a computer and try to ascertain who it belongs to so that you can return it to them. This is another potential mistake. That USB drive could have malware loaded on it. Once you plug it into a computer attached to the network, the malware could load itself onto the server and infect the entire company. That’s why you should simply set this in the lost and found and not put it in your computer. If someone really did lose it, they will know to come back and look for it later.

As Ginni Rometty, IBM’s chairman, president and CEO, said in 2015, “Cyber crime is the greatest threat to every company in the world.” While there are still many other security protocols that employees should follow to prevent cyber attacks, following these four tips will go a long way in keeping their network safe from hackers.