We talk to employees in the Netherlands, Malaysia and Singapore to find out what they think of information security and how they limit their risks.
Reza Bendt, senior IT system specialist, has seen several security information breaches during his 10-year career with the WW group. He recalls the time a hacker encrypted files on an employee’s computer making them unreadable. “The only way to get the data back would have been to pay the hacker a lot of money to restore them. We didn’t need to go this far because, luckily, the employee had backed up his files.”
Naturally, because he works in IT, Bendt sticks to strict information security routines. “I double-check everything. For example, when I open a link to a website that automatically downloads a file, I check what it downloads first before I run or open it. However, securing information doesn’t only start and end in the digital world. I use several passwords and never write them down anywhere or leave valuable documents unattended”, he says.
Based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Joseph Chum is very careful with his personal information at work and at home. “I never post any locations on my social media updates or uploaded photos,” he confides. He’s equally cautious when it comes to unsolicited emails or phone calls. “I never disclose any personal information when I don’t know the person. And never ever leave passwords and sensitive information lying around.”
Chum is responsible for applications administration and business process management. His worst nightmare is that his data or systems would be damaged or ‘sabotaged’. “Losing years of work and information, and identity theft where someone might pose as me to get customers’ financial details, would be terrible,” he says.
WSM’s office in Singapore is a role model for good information security practices, according to captain Jitendra Patwardhan, marine and vessel manager who has worked for WW group for 25 years. “Employees log off their computers and mobile devices when not in use, all systems are protected with quality antivirus software and data is backed up regularly.
We are well resourced and educated on information security issues in Singapore,” he says confidently. “So, if we had a security breach, personally, it would make me question my practices and dent my confidence. Workwise, it would expose our key operations to scrutiny by our competitors, giving them an undue advantage.”
Fortunately, Bendt, Chum and Patwardhan have never been victims of information security breaches, but that doesn’t stop them from taking the necessary precautions. “And, just in case, back up everything,” advises Bendt.