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How Personal and Corporate Security Overlap in the Face of Phishing, Vishing, and Smishing Threats
Cyber threats are evolving rapidly, as is business — more and more workers work from home or use personal devices for work … or both. The boundaries between corporate and personal security have become increasingly blurred.
In this blog, we will explore:
- The Gap Between Personal and Corporate Security
- Risks and Challenges in Using Personal Devices for Work
- How to Seal the Cybersecurity Gap Between Corporate and Personal Security
The Gap Between Personal And Corporate Security
The gap between personal and corporate security is more than just a theoretical concern; it's a practical issue that affects both individuals and organizations. Many workers are working from home, using computers and phones that are either personal, or shared devices. (And even when devices are “work only,” often they are also used as personal tools without corporate authorization.) This not only increases the number of endpoints in an organization — which are all additional risks — but these dual-use devices also expand the geography and usage footprint of the devices, again expanding risk.
Even when devices are not shared, consider the various threats, including phishing scams, smishing (SMS phishing), and vishing (voice phishing).
- Phishing Scams: These are fraudulent attempts to obtain sensitive information, often through deceptive emails.
- Smishing: This involves phishing using SMS. It's a growing concern, especially for employees who use personal phones for work-related tasks.
- Vishing: This is phishing where scammers use voice calls to trick individuals into giving away sensitive information.
Bad actors can use an employee’s personal contact information to get compromising corporate data just as easily as they could use their business contact information. Phishing, smishing, and vishing work just as well — sometimes better — on personal devices.
Risks And Challenges For Using Personal Devices For Work
The use of personal devices for work-related tasks, sometimes called "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD), has become increasingly popular due to the convenience it offers. Employees can easily switch between personal and professional tasks, making it a setup that seems ideal.
Alternately, often a company will supply a laptop or cell phone “for business use only.” However, it’s difficult or impossible to trusty separate the two. It’s convenient for the employee to handle day-to-day personal tasks on a business device. (For example, who hasn’t actually checked their personal email on a work computer?)
While convenient, this convenience comes at a corporate security cost — often compromising the security of both the individual and the organization.
Personal or shared devices can introduce a plethora of security risks into an organization's network. One of the most common risks is the susceptibility to smishing attacks. Smishing, or SMS phishing, involves sending fraudulent text messages to trick the recipient into revealing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links.
Imagine an employee receives a text message that appears to be from the company's IT department, asking them to confirm their login details. The employee, trusting the source, clicks on the link and enters their credentials, unknowingly giving hackers access to the corporate network.
Moreover, personal devices are often less secure than corporate devices. They are not controlled by the organization, and cybersecurity can also be a low priority for the individual. So personal devices may not have the latest security patches, firewalls, antivirus software, or other protections, making them easy targets for cybercriminals. Once a personal device is compromised, it can serve as a gateway for hackers to infiltrate the corporate network, leading to a full-scale data breach.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also weighed in on this issue, providing guidelines for cybersecurity for small businesses. These guidelines emphasize the need for stringent security protocols, especially when personal and corporate computing overlap. The FCC recommends implementing multi-factor authentication, regular software updates, and employee training as some of the measures to mitigate these risks. Again, in overlapped devices (used for personal and corporate reasons), protocols like these may be overlooked, and often cannot be enforced in the same manner.
So, while using personal devices for work offers unparalleled convenience, it also opens the door to multiple security risks. Organizations must implement robust security protocols to safeguard data.
How To Seal The Cybersecurity Gap Between Personal And Corporate Security
Sealing the cybersecurity gap requires a multi-faceted approach. Employee training is a critical component. Staff awareness training can significantly improve a company's security posture, and training should include:
- Recognizing Phishing Attempts: Employees should be trained to identify suspicious emails and messages.
- Secure Browsing Habits: Safe internet usage can prevent many cyber threats.
- Strong Password Policies: Encourage the use of complex passwords and two-factor authentication.
- Basic Security Practices: Train employees on minimum security practices for any of their phones and computers.
But training alone is not enough. Sometimes companies need help to address the overlap in personal and corporate security.
Some security organizations, such as YouMail, offer services both for consumers and individuals. The smartest companies overlap those services to avert any gaps in corporate security.
YouMailPS and YouMail are not just additional layers of security; they are essential tools in bridging the cybersecurity gap. YouMail, for example, helps any individual protect their phone, with threat filtering, secure voicemail, advanced voicemail transcription, robust spam filters, call labeling and blocking, and more. These features dramatically reduce the risk of vishing attacks.
YouMailPS, on the other hand, protects enterprises. Brands get realtime notifications of scammers impersonating their brand, text and call impersonation, smishing and vishing protection, and more.
Employees encouraged to put YouMail on all their devices, corporate and personal, are offered further protection from smishing and vishing, and — from the other side — brands know that their company reputation is protected from smishing and vishing attacks at the same time.
This solution protects from attacks both internal and external, helping ensure that both personal and corporate communications are safe.
The gap between corporate and personal cybersecurity is a growing concern that can be effectively addressed through comprehensive employee training, as well as the strategic use of organizations such as YouMailPS and YouMail.
Contact YouMailPS today for a comprehensive solution that safeguards both your corporate and personal communications. Bridge the cybersecurity gap in your organization >