The holiday season is in full swing, and everyone is getting excited! What’s the harm in doing a little bit of shopping online at the office during a lunch break? Many people visit popular websites during work hours on company computers, but most have no idea that they are putting their employer at-risk because of their shopping behaviors. It can be especially dangerous for small-to-medium-sized business (SMB), which typically does not invest as much into network security as larger corporations.

Why Holiday Shopping at Work is Dangerous

Business data is stored and transmitted on the devices that you use in the office, from computers to mobile tablets, phones, and peripherals. Everything works on the same network. However, whenever non-business internet searches are conducted, social media is used, or shopping happens – even to well-known, major brand websites – it can leave business data vulnerable to attack. Education one of the most significant elements in Greater Boston data protection. The more your team knows about how to use company computers properly, avoid phishing scams and other vulnerabilities, and report any suspicious issues that they experience, the more secure your business data.

What’s worse, more than half of all SMB owners surveyed recently revealed that they were not confident that their employees could tell the difference between a legitimate link and an illegitimate link from a cybercriminal that was pretending to be a real online retailer. Studies show that employees are just as much of a danger to today’s tech-dependent businesses as hackers, which might explain why so many IT and network security professionals seem overly paranoid to the rest of the office. While these threats exist all year long and must be addressed as soon as possible to prevent a data breach from occurring, they become even more intense during the holidays when consumers let down their guard as they shop for family and friends.

How to Improve Your Network Security

Businesses all over are under threat from cyber-attack. There are many different ways that hackers can gain access to your system, steal essential company and customer data, or even take control of your data and hold it for ransom. Phishing scams, viruses, malware, ransomware, and other dangerous attacks occur every day. If you have not been a victim of cyber-attack, it’s only a matter of time. At Synivate, we find that a comprehensive approach that targets the unique aspects of your operation is the best way to thwart attacks and protect your business. It is critical for all companies across every industry to take the necessary steps required to protect essential data and records. Network security is the term used to cover these services and is something that every business should implement.

In addition to anti-virus programs and remote monitoring in Boston, there are other things that should also be done to protect your business. Employee education programs, Greater Boston IT solutions designed to reduce vulnerabilities, and disaster recovery service back-up systems should be put into place. Regular software updates and upgrades, firmware, and operating system updates and upgrades, as well as hardware upgrades for outdated systems, should all be on your checklist when it comes to preventing and preparing for a cyber-attack of any kind. Our team will work with you to develop a reliable data backup strategy and disaster recovery plan to help reduce the effects of a cyber-attack, such as a ransomware attack, or any other type of data loss. This can help you get back online and make changes designed to prevent further access by an attacker.

Employee-Based Attack Prevention

Back to holiday shopping by employees, the best way to stop this from happening and prevent damage to company data is by establishing a robust education program. The methods used by cybercriminals can help your staff spot attacks before they happen. Many common cyber-attacks can be prevented through education and ongoing support from our Greater Boston IT solutions program. Phishing, spear-phishing, and social engineering attacks are much more sophisticated than most people realize, but they can be spotted with ongoing education. Certain elements can indicate a cyber-attack, such as a request to verify or update information by clicking a link, anything that creates a sense of urgency, emails that come from a deceptive address, and URLs that don’t match the displayed text.

Social media access and online shopping may seem harmless, but they can both leave your company network open to attack. Synivate offers solutions that include disaster recovery service techniques and remote monitoring in Boston, but we strongly advocate employee education as the first line of defense to most cyber-attack attempts. We can come to your office and offer a presentation that will give your staff real-life examples that will help them understand the importance of Greater Boston data protection. This can be extremely valuable to companies of any size, including SMBs and larger corporations. If you are interested in learning more about Synivate’s Greater Boston data protection programs, give us a call at 617-517-0704.