In the digital age, lack of data security is one of the biggest potential security threats faced by most corporations and small businesses. Employees tend to follow an unspoken Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, which means that they’re using their own personal devices to conduct business or simply browse the Internet at work. Laptops, cellphones, and tablets are all staples in each individual’s digital repertoire. The problem lies in the fact that many people tend to disregard the issue of cyber security altogether when using these devices in the workplace and carelessly connect them to their work computers. Cyber security experts argue that in light of this common practice, workplace computer security is being greatly jeopardized. Continue reading to learn more about what the experts are saying about this and how you can prevent your company from becoming the next victim of malicious hackers.
How Charging Your Phones on Your Work Computers Increases the Likelihood of Corporate Security Breaches
Take a moment to think about all of the times your employees nonchalantly plug their mobile devices into their work computers for charging. It may not have fazed you before, but perhaps this is something you should take a little more seriously than you previously did.
People usually use USBs when charging their phones. USBs are not only capable of charging devices, but they’re also equipped to transfer data from one device to another. If personal devices are unsecured or not password-protected, then this leaves your company’s security systems vulnerable to infiltration from malicious hackers.
In fact, hackers are banking on the fact that most people are blissfully unaware of the potential security vulnerability they’re creating for the companies they work for by connecting their unsecured devices into their work computers. It’s the perfect setup for them to access sensitive information that exists on your employees’ work computers and install malware on those devices to collect said data and potentially sell it on the black market or use it against your business to solicit large payouts.
Here are a few ways in which your company’s sensitive and confidential data could potentially face serious security risks and how you can prevent this from happening.
Increased BYOD Adaption
Unfortunately, there’s simply nothing you can do to prevent your employees from bringing their personal devices to work or using them on the physical premises. The best course of action in this case is to simply educate your employees as much as possible about the potential threat against your company’s cyber security. Hold meetings regularly to ensure that each employee understands the risks involved and to prevent them from engaging in online activities that could potentially damage your company’s reputation. Instruct them not to open any e-mails that seem suspicious or click on unknown links while using the company network. Encourage them not to charge their mobile or other devices using their work computers and provide other solutions for them (this will be discussed below).
Unsecure Nearby Devices
Shared networks allow people to connect to other nearby mobile devices to gain access to Wi-Fi. These networks are generally unsecured, which is why it’s so easy to access them. However, because they’re unsecured, this makes them much more susceptible to viruses, bugs, and other issues that could easily spread to your employees’ devices if they try to connect to them. If your employees’ devices are also visible to other nearby devices, then this makes it easier for hackers to connect to the same network and gain access to sensitive data on their gadgets. Ask your employees to turn off their network and device visibility at least during working hours to prevent this from happening. You should also instruct them not to attempt to connect to unsecured or unfamiliar networks as these can lead to serious security breaches.
Data Security Threat Increased by Charging Risks
The more employees you have, the greater the risk is of your company losing significant sensitive information due to charging risks. Hackers can easily install malware on your work computers while your employees’ personal devices are directly connected to them via USB. All they have to do is create bugs that can infiltrate your lax security systems, compose a simple official looking e-mail that looks like it came from upper management and once the employee opens that e-mail, a whole host of bugs will be automatically installed on their computer completely unbeknownst to them. As long as the mobile devices remain connected to the main work computer, hackers can also gain access to these devices and use them to remotely control everything that’s happening on the computer itself. That’s how they can transfer whatever data they need—or even all of it—to their own devices and then use this content for their own personal gain. All it takes is a few minutes.
Once hackers are able to gain access to one employee’s personal device and work computer, they can then extend their breach by spreading these viruses and bugs to your entire corporate network. This is a common practice and highly effective. All it takes is for one employee to open a malicious e-mail and then it spreads like wildfire. Other employees will receive similar e-mails from that same employee, thinking that it’s official and work-related and when these e-mails are opened on their computers, hackers will gain access to all of their data as well.
A Simple Solution to Your Cyber Security Problem
There are actually three simple solutions to this issue. The first one, as mentioned above, is to continuously educate your employees about the importance of cyber security and the best preventative actions to uphold it. Secondly, you should get your IT team to increase and update your cyber security measures on a regular basis as a pre-emptive strike against future attacks. Third, install designated charging stations throughout your work environment where employees can plug their phones in to charge as needed.
Ohming Technology offers state-of-the-art charging stations that are not only easy to install but are also capable of charging multiple devices simultaneously without compromising the flow of power to each one. The Charge M.E. is a multiport 3.0 charging hub that supports modern and legacy devices alike. To learn more about our products, please contact us or shop online.