Making the Internet Safer, Starting With Us

By Cindy Allman
Marketing Manager
February 10, 2020
Making the Internet Safer, Starting With Us main image

Today, we celebrate Safer Internet Day, the theme for this year is together for a better internet. The world is the most connected it has ever been in history and it is through the internet we form and keep these connections. While safer internet day celebrations tend to focus on children, it is important for us as a technology company we bear some responsibility in keeping our team members and customers safer while they are online. The TSL Group has over 40 years of operating in the technology space in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean. As a technology company, we rely heavily on the internet as a lot of our technology requires the use of the internet. We are a company that is always online, therefore, Safer Internet Day is a focal point for us.

How do we ensure we are playing our part in being upstanding individuals online? It begins with our team. We have over 180 team members, the majority of which need to use the internet to perform their duties. In speaking with Group Human Resource Manager, Maria Michael-Alibey, she stressed the importance of having awareness training for the staff along with building a solid social media policy that protects both the company and the team members. Maria states that, “While it is important for organizations to keep a tab on use of its company’s internet from a productivity and data security measure standpoint, it is also important to educate employees on the negative side of the internet. Predators prey on internet users, especially young ones and it is easy to fall victim to scams, phishing, social engineering, sextortion and cyber-bullying. Therefore, to prevent such attacks, the more awareness raised, and information shared, the better equipped your staff will be and in a better position to share with their families measures towards to a safer internet.”

Does your company have a strong, updated social media policy? Do your team members know the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of operating online and how that can impact your company? A lot of companies seem to underestimate the need for a social media policy, it is only thought about when there is a public relations crisis. In general, every company should have a social media policy that their team members are aware of and references on a regular basis. “Over the last few weeks I have met with the Management team to finalize and update our social media policy for 2020. I think this is important and often overlooked and generally does not get addressed proactively. Within the next few weeks, we will be rolling out our policy to our team members as we want to ensure our Group is protected”, said Maria Michael-Alibey.

“Good morning this is your IT department speaking…” is generally how the TSL Group team members receive our IT Bulletin from Gareth Ballah, our Vice President of Information Computer Technology Services. With over a decade of being our IT Lead, Ballah stresses the importance of educating the team members of the dangers that lurk on the internet. In tandem with the Social Media Policy, the IT department shares with team members the Acceptable Usage Policy, which governs how we use the internet, interact online and via internal and external communications. “We are a technology company that believes in the products and services we offer, so for years we have been using SonicWall, Juniper and CheckPoint to assist in making our internet experience safer, our network secure and our endpoints checked daily”, said Ballah. With the recent staging of our ReThink Risk conference, Ballah sent out an advisory to the team members educating and reiterating the ‘do’s and don’ts’ for operating on the internet. “Since I have sent that advisory, I find that I have been getting a lot more calls and emails from the team about emails/sites they feel is suspicious. This is a good thing! It means our team members are being more discerning online,” quips Ballah.

For over 40 years, we have been partnering with service providers whose products are aimed at creating a safer internet experience for our customers. These partnerships include world leading companies such as CheckPoint, Cisco and Hitachi - who all provide network security, cyber security, data recovery, ransomware software and privacy to our customers. Vice President of Sales, Michael Khan, stresses the importance of organizations building awareness among their staff about social engineering, but also equipping their internal network to ensure they are protected online. “One bit of feedback we generally get from our customers is about the initial financial investment needed to protect their networks, I usually implore them to consider the cost to their business if their network is held for ransom”, said Michael Khan.

If you are a company that relies on the internet for daily operations, one of the first questions you should be asking yourself, what would an attack on your network cost your business? Is your network safe from cyber-attacks? It is in this vein that The TSL Group partnered with CheckPoint Software Technologies whereby we are offering a series of simulated diagnostics to check if your existing security technologies can block standard and advanced attacks. By visiting you can check the vulnerability of your network. There are a lot of products and services you can use to protect your employees while they are on the internet, but it first starts with acknowledging how vulnerable your network might be.

Today, as we celebrate Safer Internet Day, let us be more mindful of how we use the internet and how our use can affect others negatively. As a company, remember we are susceptible to a lot of attacks - let us not make it easy for the attackers.