What Your Receptionist Should Know About IT Security

img Receptionist

Kudos to the frontline workers!

We witnessed incredible bravery dealing with the worldwide pandemic. Frontline workers of all kinds did amazing things to protect us from further harm. When it comes to many of our businesses, there is another frontline worker who does amazing things every day.

This is the first person we see upon entering an office — the receptionist. Their daily duties include welcoming and signing in visitors, taking phone calls, arranging meetings, orchestrating incoming and outgoing packages, monitoring security camera feeds, contacting outside assistance in case of emergencies, and the list goes on. They have an important role in protecting corporate data and security.
Here are a few suggestions for equipping this important security role.

Don’t Trust Strangers:

Receptionists know a lot about the organization, such as names and titles of employees and stakeholders, phone numbers, vehicle license plates, and more. Anyone in this role should be provided with a policy on what information can and cannot be shared with an absolute stranger. The social engineering tactics used by today’s digital and real-life cybercriminals are designed to obtain such information to build trust so they can fool the staff and gain access. The policy best used here is trust no one you do not already know.

Avoid Social Media Sites and Personal Email:

It would be best to disallow accessing social media, checking personal emails, doing online shopping, or playing online games at their workstation. Many external sites are prone to potentially malicious software. Your receptionist’s computer may not necessarily store sensitive business data, but if breached, it can provide a gateway for cybercriminals.

Keep a Clean Desk:

Scammers have been known to readily grab information available in plain sight. Implement a clean desk policy and corporate document deleting/shredding standards. More should go in the shredder than to the trash bin!

Provide Training:

Sometimes reception personnel are not included in regularly scheduled data security training and testing. Be sure this is not the case in your organization.

Minimize Access:

Situate reception and lobby furniture to maximize security for the reception desk staff and to limit outsider access.

Sign In and Badges:

Consider a badge system for outsiders to wear whenever venturing beyond the main lobby/reception area.

Implement an Alarm System:

The front desk should have a panic alarm system in place to alert security staff to an intrusion or event of any sort.

The front line of digital and analog data security is at the reception area. Be sure to put structures in place to protect that front line.