Smart Applications Group International

Staying Cyber Secure During Election Period

July 18, 2022 Posted by: Global iTech 0


By Global I-Tech, Powered by Smart

 

The Political seasons in many countries, in recent times, have been characterised by cyber-attacks of varied proportions and sophistication which present a high risk to both individuals and organisations.

 

Employees are the first line of defense against cyber threats in the workplace. A distracted employee could thus be the weakest link when it comes to exposing your organisation organization to cyber threats.

 

According to a Centrify survey, people who get bored and distracted at work are more likely to make mistakes and pose a security risk. The report notes that 35% of survey participants identified distraction and boredom as the primary contributors to human mistakes. Heavy workloads (19%), numerous policies and compliance laws (5%), social media (5%), and password sharing were further contributing factors (4 %).

 

When it comes to distractions, it's understandable that workers would become sidetracked with the Kenyan general election day rapidly approaching given how emotionally intense this time of year is. It is possible for businesses to maintain their cyber security throughout such times. Everyone involved in the organization's cyber security must understand that the threat landscape is constantly expanding.

 

The cost of cybersecurity

 

Recent information from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) reveals that the number of cyber threats has more than doubled in the current fiscal year, which began in July 2021. 359.2 million threats were reported by the Authority, an all-time high, up 133% from the 110.9 threats recorded in 2019 and the 154.4 million threats recorded in FY2020–21.

 

Businesses might suffer catastrophic losses as a result of the threat landscape's ongoing expansion, especially in terms of lost financial resources. Increased cyber security threats cost the Kenyan economy over Ksh. 29.5 billion (USD 295 million) in 2018, according to research by the Pan-African cyber-security and business consultancy Serianu.

 

Managing the losses

 

How therefore can businesses prevent their business from failing as a result of a distracted employee? While we would like to offer a universally applicable answer, none exists. In the case of Smart Applications Group, it is the Infrastructure and Security department's responsibility to make sure everyone is doing their part to keep the company safe.

 

“The Infrastructure and Security department has created this cybersecurity checklist for you in protecting against malicious actors who might want to take advantage of this season to cause disruption and financial loss”, notes Juna Joshua, Regional Infrastructure and Security Manager, Smart Applications Group.

 

 

Use two-factor authentication (2fa)

  • Two-factor authentication allows an extra layer of security for email, social media, and database accounts by requiring users to provide a second login beyond the user’s password.

 

Implement strong password practices

 

  • Use password managers to secure all your passwords. Password managers allow you to manage all your accounts in one place. Make sure to review a password manager before selecting.
  • Use a long password to access the password manager. We recommend using a unique string of words that can be easily remembered, but difficult to guess.
  • Use different passwords for all accounts, including email and social media.

 

 

Enable auto-update to install security patches in a timely manner

  • Once patches are available, quickly install them onto the operating systems of your computers, mobile devices, and databases. Unpatched systems pose unnecessary risks to your systems.

 

Use encrypted messaging apps or systems when necessary

  • For sensitive communications, use encrypted messaging services to provide an additional layer of protection.
  • Secure messaging apps are available for download. Users should research a messaging app before using

 

Have a plan to quickly respond to cyber incidents

  • Despite following these practices, cyber incidents may occur. Have a plan in place to respond and know which authorities to contact depending on the type and severity of the incident.

 

Secure work and personal devices 

  • Ensure all work and personal devices for staff AND family members are accounted for and kept secure.

 

  • Political Candidates and their family members are potential targets of actors looking to gain access to their devices and the information they contain. Political Candidates should ensure all family members secure their personal devices.

 

  • At a minimum, all personal devices, personal email accounts, and personal social media accounts should utilize strong passwords and two-factor authentication.

 

Beware of phishing attempts

  • Phishing is a common attack where emails, texts, or other communication are sent to entice a user to provide their username and password, open an attachment that has destructive software hidden in it, or click a link that directs them to a website containing malicious software.

Protect yourself from phishing attacks:

  • If the content of a message seems unusual or out of the norm for the sender, or it is from a sender you do not recognize, do not open an attachment or click a link until you have contacted the sender.
  • Do not click on links for emails in your junk folder, even if they appear legitimate.
  • Take a second to review links and attachments before opening.
  • If you suspect a text or email to be a phishing attempt, report it to the person in charge of cyber security in your organization

 

“This is not an exhaustive list, as good security requires constant attention based upon evolving risk. Implementing these protocols, and instilling a culture of digital vigilance, will put you and your team in the best position to protect yourself against cyber incidents.” Juna continued.

 

 

Since people are what make a firm run, it is crucial for each employee to take care of themselves both before and after work hours, in Juna's opinion. This is because the human element of defending an organisation does not only stop at the office. Here are a few examples of how Juna suggests staff members conduct themselves throughout the election season.

 

Would you like to learn more about maintaining the online security of your company? Reach out to us as we offer our clients professional guidance on the best and most efficient systems to utilize in their businesses. 

 

Contact Us

Talk to us on:

Email: info@smartapplicationsgroup.com

Website: www.smartapplicationsgroup.com

Tel: +254 20 320 6000, +254 709 326 000

WhatsApp: +254 718 222 000

 

 

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, transmitted or in any form or by any means including photocopying, recording or other means electronic or mechanical, without prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations, embodied in reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted in the copyright laws.

 

Global I-Tech Magazine. Copyright © 2022.    All Rights Reserved.  Smart Applications International

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