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Cyber security tips from Vincent Steckler

Don’t be an easy target for cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity threats towards corporations are no longer just from external sources, with the ubiquity of mobile devices. As more employees use a smartphone for work, companies face a higher risk of security breach.

“It comes down to just one oversight, for an outsider to hack into a corporate network easily,” says Vincent Steckler, chief executive of leading computer and mobile security firm Avast Software. “People in Singapore don’t worry about security much, because it’s a safe country. But the weakest entry point to tapping a mobile device is actually the user.”

The 56-year-old cites the example of fake mobile applications that look realistic and pretend to run updates on one’s mobile phone. He adds: “All one needs to do is accept, and hackers have access to the company’s network.”

To safeguard trade secrets, identify the most important information and reinforce security to protect it. He says: “It’s not just about installing firewalls that protect against external threats in general. Anti-virus alone can’t defend against an advanced persistent threat.”

To counter such threats, Avast has apps for both the iOS and Android platforms that guard against privacy loss, identity theft, viruses, malware, adware and spyware. Other solutions such as intrusion detection software and log analytics to track suspicious activity should be included for extra protection.

In addition to bolstering security on company IT systems, the “indirect threat” of social media platforms should not be taken lightly. Although Steckler concedes that it is difficult to monitor and control employees’ online activities, a company should raise awareness among staff of possible threats. Corporate websites and social media platforms are easier to supervise. He says: “Watch the type of pictures that are posted and don’t expose e-mail addresses or names.”