Weighing the Benefits of Convenience Against Cyber Security Risk

Being connected through multiple devices while on the go is increasingly the norm, but with that convenience comes added risk. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently issued a warning to the public to be cautious about using free USB-charging stations. This warning concerns a practice employed by cyber criminals known as "juice-jacking," where hackers can compromise USB ports to introduce malware and other malicious programs into unsuspecting users' devices.

We’ve long touted the necessity for organizations to create cybersecurity policies that educate employees about best practices and minimizing risk. This includes making sure employees understand the risks associated with free USB-charging stations and public Wi-Fi, the most innocuous-seeming conveniences, and for organizations to insist on good security practices like multi-factor identification and running updates in a timely manner.

Public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured and can be easily hacked. Hackers can use these networks to intercept employee online activity, steal personal data, or introduce malware to business devices. The obvious solution is to avoid public Wi-Fi altogether. However, if one must use public Wi-Fi, it’s critical to avoid accessing any sensitive data (e.g., banking) while using it.

In today's connected business world, it's important to weigh the benefits of convenience against cybersecurity risks. By being aware of potential vulnerabilities and taking steps to protect your employees and organization, you can enjoy the convenience of technology without putting your personal or organizational security at risk.