As field services are using more and more cloud-based technology and cloud/mobile hybrids like Synchroteam, it’s essential that employees take security seriously. Field service software is secure, but people are still an essential part of the system. It makes sense to ensure they’re not the weakest link.
Stories of hacking and customer data theft are not going away. From Sony email hacks, to the Panama Papers and banking scandals, it’s important to remember that even if an attack is carried out by undeniably talented professionals, customers can still lose faith in a company that has been breached.
Surprisingly, many hackers don’t need to use incredibly clever techniques to break into company systems. The start of a hack is often taking advantage of employee security mistakes…
Avoid these 7 pitfalls…
1. Choosing weak passwords
This may be obvious, but too many of us have easy to guess passwords. They should be complex, not related to things in your life, and changed regularly. Using your kids’ dates of birth is not a great idea. And ‘password123’ is asking for trouble. It’s not even uncommon for some people to write passwords on post-it notes, stuck onto their laptops! Once you’ve learnt a complex password, make sure to keep up the good work – when it’s time to change it, don’t simply add a ‘2’ to the end!
2. Carelessly opening email attachments
Malicious attachments are a common way for scammers and hackers to break into organizations. They make efforts to look legitimate or important, playing on our fears and, sadly, desires, to get us to open that fatal virus-laden attachment.
Making sure your team knows how to spot a sketchy email is essential. Watch out for exaggerated security threats in messages from unsolicited senders. Emails claiming to be from government agencies, and any emails with poor spelling and grammar. These should be warning signals for everyone. But maybe the best advice is warning your team not to open email attachments from unsolicited sources on company devices.
3. Downloading scam apps
It’s the new email attachment problem! Not really an issue with iPhones, but if your workforce uses Android or Windows devices, make sure they are not free to download apps freely. There are Android apps that have malicious intentions, and it’s important that work devices are not infected with them.
If employees are free to install apps, make sure they can only do so through the official stores, which are generally safe. The problems occur when people start to side-load apps that haven’t been screened for safety.
4. Not preparing for device loss/theft
Theft and loss are facts of life, so it’s important your company is prepared for this eventuality.
Make sure devices are locked down with good passwords, and that laptops, tablets and phones are always secure when not being used. It may be convenient to open your laptop and get straight to work, but that means anyone who picks it up can immediately snoop around. Get used to entering passwords every time you open a device.
5. Mixing personal and professional email
This is surprisingly common: an employee forwards a work email to their personal account, perhaps to work on at home. It may sound innocent, but home networks and devices are often less secure than those at work, and they are almost certain not to comply with company security policy. Opening potentially sensitive emails on your personal devices puts that information at risk – companies need to think about policies to manage this threat.
6. Failing to keep contractors to the same security standards
Data breaches often come from contractors. Edward Snowden was an NSA contractor, and that security oversight by the government agency caused a lot of headaches! Of course, nothing quite so serious is likely in field services, but if you have good security standards in your company, you should make sure any contractors maintain them. Again, your security is only as strong as your weakest link.
7. Failing to deal with disgruntled workers
Sometimes relationships break down, and if your company has to get rid of someone for that reason, make sure you’re prepared! Company logins, email accounts and so on should be disabled immediately. Even waiting until the end of the day could leave plenty of time for an angry person to wreak havoc.
All of these pitfalls are avoidable. Make sure your whole team is educated and comfortable with staying secure in this modern, always-connected age. It’ll help your company run smoothly, and lets your customers know you also take their security seriously. As you already know, happy employees make good customer service reps, and good customer service makes happy – and return – customers.