Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly violent. Because of this, it’s vital that finance professionals, as well as all employed individuals, learn to keep organizational data and identities safe. Contrary to what many finance professionals believe, it is within their power to do this. After all, strengthening cybersecurity isn’t just an IT team’s responsibility; it is everyone’s responsibility.
Cybersecurity Tips for Finance Professionals
Cyber crime has become a huge problem. A White and Case article published two years ago said, “Cyber crime costs the global economy over US$400 billion per year, according to estimates by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.” Often, it is financial instituions that are victimized by cyber criminals.
Most finance professionals have no idea that they are capable of significantly decreasing their employers’ vulnerabilities to cyber attack. Conversely, they are also unaware of the ways in which they make their companies and firms more susceptible to becoming victims of cyber crimes. Company leaders can foster more-secure information systems by encouraging their finance professionals to do the following:
- Avoid clicking on random links — A quick way to compromise cybersecurity is to click on random links. Indiana University’s article Tips for Staying Safe Online says, “Do not click any link that you can’t verify. To avoid viruses spread via email or instant messaging (IM), think before you click; if you receive a message out of the blue, with nothing more than a link and/or general text, do not click it. If you doubt its validity, ask for more information from the sender.” To increase your firm’s cybersecurity immediately, pass this tip along to any finance professionals on staff.
- Create complex, secure passwords – It is the rare finance professional who does not log into a variety of online platforms on a daily basis. While it can feel burdensome to take the time to create unique, complex passwords for each platform, it is important. Equally important is that those passwords are kept in a secure location. Preferably, they should be memorized.
- Beware of social engineering scams – Finance professionals must have a high level of awareness of social engineering ploys. Company leaders should take extra measures to educate their staff about the dangers of being pulled into these scams. IT Business Edge encouraged employers to “warn employees to pay special attention to social engineering ploys they will find in social media, blogs, and emails. It’s also important to point out that many cyber incidents begin with a phone call from someone posing as a co-worker asking seemingly innocuous questions. Meanwhile, they are actually gathering information about the company and its operations.”
If all employed individuals, finance professionals in particular, would put simple tips like these into action, cyber crime would probably plummet. In what ways do you encourage your employees to practice good cybersecurity habits?