Some employees may not be as familiar with their company’s security policies as they should. Workers may be performing tasks that seem harmless on the surface but could pose a security risk to the company.
Understanding your role as an employee and what your users do (as IT managers) can help you find a solution. Most cases, changes in user behavior or the implementation of new technical solutions can reduce risk exposure and increase compliance with security policies.
The opening of attachments in emails is a common user behavior that could be considered a violation company policy. Email attachments are a common way to distribute malware. It is dangerous to open attachments from any email address, known or unknown, without securing your email address.
An organization could opt to install an email server security filter that would remove attachments and give workers a secure file sharing service. This may be a violation of policy because email attachments are a common vector for malware infection. Workers should not open attachments unless they are confirmed to be from the source and in good faith. If the source has a digital signature that can be verified and the recipient is expecting the attachment, this would be an example.
Accessing Social Networks
Accessing social networks via work computers is another risky user behavior. Social networks can be used to launch a social engineering attack. This could lead to information leakage or remote control malware.
Worker should not use company equipment for personal tasks. Workers should only use their personal devices (e.g., a smartphone) to access social networking sites during breaks. To prevent logical barriers, companies should use DNS and IP blocks to block access to social networking sites and services.
Re-using passwords is another risky user behavior that could be considered as a violation of company policy. Never re-use passwords. Do not reuse old passwords on the same or different systems. Do not use the same passwords for multiple systems at once. Adversaries know that password re-use can be convenient and commonplace. Don’t do it.
Always use a unique, long and random password. You may need to use a password manager (also known as a password vault or credential manager) to reduce your account takeover risk and impersonation risk.
The fourth problem user activity is the syncing of online media to personal devices via company networks. It is generally forbidden to download any file from the company’s Internet connection to a personal computer. This could be a violation or waste bandwidth on data transfers. The organization is also at risk of malware infection by downloading unauthorised and non-relevant files. File synchronization between company equipment and personal devices could lead to the accidental exfiltration or disclosure secret, private or confidential data to outsiders.
Data transfers of large amounts could cause problems in business operations. It could be a violation or copyright violation if the files are stored on company equipment. Users should avoid downloading, syncing, or transferring personal files or media across company networks. Companies can monitor data transfers and block access from well-known media sources for suspicious activity.
Personal Device Connections
Unauthorized connections of personal devices to company equipment is a fifth example. These actions, whether they are linking to company equipment, tethering a device to a computer, or simply plugging in a USB charger, are all likely to be considered company po.