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Savvy business cyber security advice for students at MBA School

August 01, 2017

MBA school graduates who aim to be leaders in the modern business world should have a solid grasp of the importance of cyber security for their companies.

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For many students, an MBA represents an opportunity to establish and improve their capacity for leadership, which assures employers, peers, and future team members that their organizations and careers are in trustworthy hands.

In the digital era, trustworthy leadership is also contingent on the provision of security—more specifically, the security of the vast amounts of critical information shared over information systems and the internet every day by businesses. Read on for a few foundational tips on business cyber security that will help you to become a more security-oriented, valuable professional.

Learn to recognize phishing before finishing MBA School

“Phishing”—the circulation of fraudulent emails to extract sensitive information from recipients—has been a threat to online security for individuals and businesses alike since the invention of email. Many technology-literate individuals are able to spot these untrustworthy messages. However, these types of scams have continued to evolve, becoming more convincing to even experienced internet users at a very high cost—phishing is estimated to have cost global organizations $9 billion in 2016, according to an RSA forecast. Furthermore, phishing attacks are becoming increasingly targeted, which is a major concern for those enrolled in a Global MBA program as they move up the corporate ladder and become more valuable targets.

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Be vigilant about your electronic communications to maintain personal and company security

There are many ways to assess whether an email is likely a phishing attempt, such as:

  • Double checking the sending address of emails that claim to be from a trusted source
  • Cross-checking email communications with a phone call
  • Keeping in mind that a trusted sender will never ask for your password or key identifying information over email
  • Hovering your cursor over links to ensure that they direct to a trusted site
  • Noting the message’s tone—are there strange spelling or grammar errors? Is it phrased with unnecessary urgency? Does it refer to you generically as “Customer” or “Friend”?

Keeping the above red flags in mind will allow you to proceed more confidently with your business communications and improve the security of your personal and professional information.

Establish comprehensive security protocols for all team members

Improving cyber security requires more than just change at the individual level. As a developing business leader, you want to be able to improve the security of your organization as a whole upon graduating from MBA school, helping your team members improve and putting the interests of your company at the forefront. Of course, implementing widespread security measures depends on organizational resources and existing policies. However, there are a few best practices that you can consider when developing security measures or suggesting them to your business.

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Work with your company to make sure all team members are on the same page about cyber security

Invest in a firewall. Ensuring that all computers in company use are protected by a firewall program, and that this program is controlled by and accessible to a trusted senior professional, will keep malicious parties from accessing information transmitted over your online network.

Password protect and encrypt sensitive data. Password protection and encryption, especially for particularly sensitive information and accounts, can minimize the damage that an attacker can inflict on your company if a security breach does take place.

Standardize security procedures. Make sure that all team members are formally briefed on security measures like the ones listed above, and that they understand the risks of undermining these safeguards. Your security is only as strong as its weakest link, and an unwittingly negligent employee could have significant consequences. 

By proposing measures that are guided by the above principles, you will be in a good position not only to reduce the risk of fraud and loss at your company, but also to establish yourself as a professional with the ability to proactively advance and protect the interests of your organization—key characteristics of a successful MBA graduate.

Think you have what it takes to be a trustworthy business leader?

Contact WU Executive Academy to learn more about our Executive MBA courses and how they can accelerate your career.

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