Do you work in the finance industry?
Then here's a little riddle for you: below is a table of contents as found on a Wikipedia page about a company in finance. We have just one question:
Can you guess the age of the company this Wikipedia entry is about?
Ready to find out?
The company in question was founded in 1900, some 121 years ago!
That's 121 years of history, yet Wikipedia only seems interested in a 2019 data breach. In fact, Wikipedia is filled to the brim with company pages whose entire summary is defined by a single data leak.
The takeaway here is a simple one: data leaks are irremovable stains on your reputation. No matter how hard your predecessors worked building your legacy, all it takes is one data leak and that's the first thing anyone will ever remember about you.
The finance industry in particular is vulnerable to cybercrime, accounting for 22% of data leaks in 2020.
With digitisation ever increasing, the risk of a data leak is arguably the biggest threat to anyone working in the finance industry these days.
Don't want your organisation's reputation painfully summarised in a Wikipeda table until the end of time? Check out the most important tips below:
1. Be aware of the data you're sending and receiving
It's not surprising cybercriminals are drawn to the finance sector: few organisations rely on processing highly sensitive data as those providing financial products and services. Credit card numbers, birth dates and email addresses are just a handful of types of data your customers can't afford you to leak. Every time you're part of a data transaction, you run the risk of a data leak. It's this level of awareness that forms a necessary basis for fighting data leaks.
2. Prevent human error
The majority of data leaks are the result of simple human error, such as accidentally sending an email to the wrong person. It's exactly a seemingly small mistake like this that can ruin your company's Wikipedia entry for now and forever.
Using an email solution that tackles the human factor is as essential as the services you provide. Take a moment to look at your current situation and ask yourself: are people in your organisation prompted to check files and recipients before clicking Send? Are they given the option to send emails and attachments securely when they need to? Does your company have a lock your laptop policy and is it enforced? Is your company working with an email solution that's easy to use even for the biggest computerphobe? Have you yourself never made a mistake when sending an email?
If the answer to any of those questions is No, your organisation is at risk.
3. Stay informed of the latest cybercrime developments
Perhaps in the finance industry more than elsewhere, it's important to know how cybercriminals operate. Not only should you make sure everybody in your organisation knows about the latest in phishing methodology or malware technology, you should never forget that hackers not only steal from you. They just as often pose as you.
Reputation damage can sprout from your data being leaked, but a hacker using your corporate identity to make phishing emails is another example of bad PR if left unchecked.
If you're in finance, you don't just fight data leaks with a good defense strategy. The nature of your organisation puts you at the forefront, so make sure you always know the latest!
4. Use zero knowledge end-to-end encryption
Not encrypting your emails is akin to leaving your house with the door open. Using zero knowledge end-to-end encryption prevents your data from being visible to anyone except the intended recipient.
Make sure to also encrypt the actual emails too: most email providers store the emails you receive in its unencrypted, easily accessible form. Take the necessary steps to prevent hackers getting in using this often overseen shortcut.
5. Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication (MFA)
'123456' is still the most widely used password being used today. No doubt you know such a password is like giving cybercriminals the key to your house, but does everybody else in your organisation know it?
Make sure each and every one of your colleagues:
- regularly changes all their passwords
- uses different passwords for different accounts
- doesn't use passwords that contain retrievable information (birth dates, birth places, pet names, etc.)
- uses passphrases whenever possible
dditionally, keep in mind the best of passwords can be stolen. Add an extra layer of security with multi-factor authentication, for instance by sending an additional code to someone's phone to complete a login.
6. Be an industry leader
Being in finance, one simple mistake can be enough to stain your online bio for generations to come.
On the other hand, if you stay ahead in this game, showing the world you take data security very seriously and are making the continuous effort to ensure the safety of you and your customers, you can become an industry leader.
Put shortly, the best way to not become an example is to set an example.
Want to be an industry leader, but not quite sure where to find the zero knowledge end-to-end encryption on-and-off switch? Let us help you with these and other questions by showing you an email solution that makes everyday life easier and more secure. Simply use the link below to get a free demo and discover what cybercriminals don't want you to know!