Don’t Let that Internship Sink the Ship 

by September 7th, 2018

It’s September and many students are starting fall internships while recent graduates are diving into great new jobs. Young professionals are on the scene! Millennials recently became the largest generation in the U.S. labor market, and Generation Z is just beginning to intern and graduate college.

Young professionals may understand basic cybersecurity concepts simply from growing up surrounded by technology. But cybersecurity extends far beyond technology and becomes even more mission-critical when applied to the workplace—especially for those coming in for the first time. That’s why it is crucial business leaders, the captains of the ship, clearly prioritize the cybersecurity importance and risks by educating new crew members and leading by example.

Onboarding Considerations

Interns are part-time and only on-board for a few months, so it may seem like overkill to go through cybersecurity awareness training. But almost 90% of all cyberattacks are caused, at least in part, by human error. While there may be some restrictions in place, remember that most interns have access to the same network and systems as everyone else including varying degrees of sensitive business data.

As when onboarding any new employee, it is very important to discuss cybersecurity best practices, policies and procedures with the crew early on, including asking them to review and sign your Technology and Data Use Policy.

Bring-Your-Own Disaster

Picture this: You’re an ambitious and busy college student. Your laptop travels everywhere with you, used for schoolwork and personal items. And you’ve just scored that hot new internship!

For convenience or budget, some companies allow interns to use their own computer. But allowing anyone to access company network with a personal device is risky. It’s hard to control use of personal devices, monitor for malware, and enforce policies. And sensitive data could be compromised if the personal device is lost or stolen.

Consider investing in a computer for your intern, and be sure that their accounts are deactivated and systems are wiped just as soon as they finish.

Added Value

Interns arrive to gain knowledge and workplace experience. Cybersecurity is an important piece of the puzzle that will be applicable for the rest of their professional – and personal – life. Here are a few takeaways interns and young professionals can benefit from:

  1. Avoid public Wi-Fi. This can be tough in college – but at a minimum, be cautious and avoid accessing sensitive documents and accounts (banking, student loans, etc.) on public Wi-Fi.
  2. Always use strong, unique passphrases and two-factor authentication for added security.
  3. Connect with caution; when in doubt, verify that email or link with the sender, especially when receiving messages through social media, including LinkedIn.

It’s important to remember, just like a small fire in the engine room can take over an entire ship, a simple error—all it takes is one bad click—by an unsuspecting, untrained intern can have a whole organization taking on water.

Stay Safe,

Your Friends @ Defendify

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