Tips for looking after your digital well-being when you return to work

Looking after your digital well-being when you return to work after the holidays or move to a hybrid office model is important, as this increases the attack surfaces for cybercriminals who are waiting for people who are not vigilant enough.

These worrying safety habits and risks include people not making safety hygiene their primary focus, which means there are even more vulnerabilities for businesses and employees to worry about, says Anna Collard , senior vice president of content strategy and evangelist at KnowBe4 Africa.

“It is important to prioritize employees’ security awareness and digital well-being as much as their physical and mental health and well-being when they return to work. HR has an obligation to be aware that people are tired, overwhelmed and too anxious to make sure they get the support they need, but that has to extend to security.”

Tired and overwhelmed employees are also easier targets, Collard says, and distracted people even more so because they aren’t as rigorous about their safety behaviors as they should be.

READ ALSO: Nine Cybersecurity Predictions for 2023 That Will Keep Business Owners Up at Night

Virtual meetings and your digital well-being

“One area where the post-holiday brain can cause a rift in the business lies in the virtual meeting. Suddenly, there are tons of meetings flooding your inbox. Zoom on Tuesday, Teams on Wednesday, six more on Friday. The problem is that some of these invitations may actually be a form of social engineering: fake meetings designed to look real but designed to capture critical information or perpetrate a nasty hack.”

In September 2022, several vulnerabilities were found in Zoom, including allowing a remote hacker to join a meeting and download files, while in May 2022, users were tricked into downloading a more vulnerable version of Zoom, which made it easy for cybercriminals to beat them. access

It says Microsoft teams experienced a significant increase in phishing and malware attacks in 2022, and is unlikely to emerge unscathed in 2023.

“Both of these platforms have such a high volume of users and use cases that they present a very juicy target and all it takes is one person to make a mistake and the hackers are in.”

Collard warns that there are several areas of risk when it comes to online meetings.

“The first is clicking on a fake link. People are so used to seeing these invitations to meetings that they tend to click on them without thinking. This risk is increased by the fact that companies often work with providers of third-party services or freelancers that send their own meeting requests, making it harder to spot which meeting requests are real and which might be fake.

He says this really underscores the need for ongoing cyber security training and awareness and to have approved lists of providers so that only their meeting requests are accepted.

READ ALSO: Cyberattacks: Negligence, poor systems make South Africa a haven for cybercrime

Your digital well-being across multiple platforms

Another issue is that people are back to working across multiple platforms, locations, and devices, and are juggling multiple passwords, multi-factor authentication (MFA) processes, and time constraints.

“It’s easy to slip up when you’re overwhelmed with work and out of practice. Even MFA has become a minefield with hackers finding innovative ways to get people to enter their codes into fake systems or share them over the phone “.

Collard warns that cybercriminals and their attacks are becoming smarter by a click.

“Threats are increasing and vulnerabilities will always be a problem. Therefore, now is the time to remind users to be vigilant so that the new year is not marked by another hack. Start 2023 with training and awareness that reinforces messages and reminds people how to spot and avoid threats.”

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