Approaching Online Security from End-User Perspective
The parking management industry is rapidly adopting the use of technology. There has been an increase in what parking solution companies can achieve with their platforms and ease of use. However, with the rise of technology comes increased vulnerability. The need to adopt the best online security practices has never been more immense. And this is why cybersecurity education should be one of the primary focuses for parking management companies.
There are several players in the parking management industry in the technological aspect. We have the company, the employees (end users), and the customers (end users). The focus of cybersecurity education for most companies is the network administrators, developers, and IT staff. However, the largest group is the end-users. Training the end-users on best security practices will save the company from a large percentage of data breaches.
There is a varying level of knowledge and ability on technological issues among the end-users, which has made it even more important than ever to find a way to educate them.
Here are some of the ways to approach end-user education on online security:
Teach them that it can happen to anyone
The first step to educating end-users is to let them know that every piece of information is vital and should be protected. Most end-users believe that they will not be a victim of hackers until it happens. End-users must know that a hacker can use even the most seemingly irrelevant information to harm them.
Let them know about password management
Password management is an essential concept that every end-user must understand. In most cases, the end-users prefer to use short passwords that could be their date of birth or something easy that is easy to remember. However, hackers are getting smarter by the day, so long and complex passwords are essential.
Passwords give full access, which means they have to protect it at all costs. An end-user should be encouraged to choose an alphanumeric password and include special characters if they wish to. It is most difficult for hackers to get these combinations. In cases where one user is running multiple accounts, they are advised to avoid similar passwords.
Avoid public networks
Public networks are insecure, and it is essential to avoid them. There is a higher risk of hackers tapping a public network, and using this to access data from every device connected to it. Secure networks are your work and home networks. If a user has to use a public network, they should avoid doing important transactions.
Always lock devices
Leaving devices unlocked means that you are risking a random person harvesting your information. In many cases, this action is often unintentional, but end users must stay aware of the risk. If devices are left unlocked, anyone can gain access to passwords and use them to gain access to personal accounts.
Be cautious of phishing websites
Hackers do not always need your passwords to cause harm. End-users must know that there is the possibility of identity theft. Some websites are set up to get personal information to create alias accounts for hacking. There is also the part about stealing IP addresses to use as a cover-up for theft.
End-users must avoid websites that demand personal information, as these websites randomly pop up in most cases.
Always use an antivirus on your device
Bugs and malware are also forms of cybercrimes, but an antivirus can protect against these. This antivirus should get regular updates for proper functioning. Also, end-users must avoid using an illegally unlocked version of these antiviruses as they do not often offer complete protection.
Use secure back up for data storage
Passwords and antiviruses protect the devices, but end-users should keep their sensitive information away from their primary device. Reports reveal that close to 90 percent of cyberattacks happen from errors in human judgment. Therefore, sensitive information should be kept in a device dedicated solely to that purpose. Extra encryption will be on this type of device.
Use reliable software
Aside from human error, a common cause of cyberattacks is major loopholes on software platforms; in the case of parking management companies, this software helps to put things in order by storing information and using it subsequently.
The end-user must receive education on how to use this software and help avoid attacks on it, but the software must first be reliable.
OPS-COM solution is one such reliable software platform for end-users. At OPS-COM, the need to educate end-users is high on the list. The software platform also has several practices in place to help end-users achieve better online security.
Strict password policies
Weak passwords are a weakness of any platform. End users do not want complex passwords to increase the risk of hackers accessing the platform. At OPS-COM, we advise the use of strict password policies.
To help achieve this, we advise on the following password policies:
- A mixture of characters for passwords and a minimum number of characters to make it longer
- Set a period limit for changing passwords. It could be 30 to 90 days for high-risk environments or 180 days for less-risky environments
- Every end-user is responsible for the security of their passwords and be held accountable for any error
- Only send the new passwords via secure channels
Regular education of end-users
End-users need regular training and updates on how to be more security conscious. The company must ensure that they do this. This way, the end-users do not become a liability to the system. OPS-COM offers support with this and helps companies to take off the workload.
Online security is a crucial part of any user-targeted system. If end users do not get regular education on keeping things tight from their end, they will become entry points for hackers to access the company’s system.
It is essential to know that the end-users are the first line of protection for your platform. If they are compromised, it gets easier for hackers to cause havoc.