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Safeguard Your Summer: Ensure IT Security While Onboarding Interns

Decorative (Seasonal Hires IT)

With summer here, many companies are bringing in student interns to assist with daily tasks and gain valuable work experience. While these new additions provide fresh perspectives and support, they also introduce potential security risks. Young staff members, often less experienced in corporate IT environments, might inadvertently compromise security protocols. We’ve got some comprehensive tips to ensure your business remains secure while maximizing the benefits of your intern program:


Complete a Comprehensive Onboarding.

A thorough onboarding process is crucial for integrating interns into your organization smoothly. This process should include detailed sessions on IT security, best practices, and company policies. Explain the importance of data protection, password management, and recognizing phishing attempts. Providing examples and practical scenarios can help interns understand the real-world implications of IT security and how their actions can impact the organization.


Use Temporary Accounts.

Creating temporary user accounts for interns is an effective strategy for managing access. These accounts should be tailored to provide the minimum level of access necessary for their roles. Temporary accounts are easier to deactivate once the internship ends, ensuring no lingering access. This practice simplifies the offboarding process and reduces the risk of unauthorized access after the internship period.


Educate on Phishing.

Phishing attacks are a common threat, but they’re an even bigger threat for less experienced employees. Conduct training sessions to educate interns on identifying phishing emails, suspicious links, and other social engineering tactics. Use real-world examples to illustrate how these attacks occur and the potential consequences of falling for them. Regularly testing interns with simulated phishing attempts can help reinforce their training.


Establish Data Handling Policies.

Clear policies on data handling are essential to prevent data breaches. Interns should be informed of how to store, transfer, and dispose of sensitive information. This includes understanding encryption methods, secure file sharing protocols, and the importance of not using personal devices for work-related tasks.


Secure Devices.

Ensure that all devices used by interns are secured with updated antivirus software and regular patching. This includes company-issued laptops, desktops, and mobile devices. Regularly update these security measures to protect against the latest threats. You should also be requiring two-factor authentication (2FA) for all intern accounts. While they may not be at your company for a long time, 2FA provides an additional layer of protection by requiring a second form of verification. This reduces the risk of account compromise, even if login credentials are accidentally shared or stolen. Encourage interns to report any unusual activity on their devices immediately, and familiarize them with your incident response plan!


Incident Response Plan.

Having a clear incident response plan is crucial. Ensure interns know how to recognize and report security incidents promptly. The plan should outline specific steps to take in case of a breach, including who to contact and what information to provide. Regularly review and update this plan to address new threats and ensure all employees, including interns, are familiar with it.


Network Segmentation.

Segment your network to limit intern access to sensitive systems and data. By isolating critical areas of your network, you can minimize the impact of any potential security breaches. Interns should only have access to the information and systems necessary for their tasks. Regularly review and adjust these access controls based on the evolving needs of the interns and the organization.


End-of-Internship Checklist.

A comprehensive offboarding process is essential to maintain security after interns leave. Create a checklist to ensure all temporary accounts are deactivated, interns are logged out of company accounts, and any issued devices or company property is returned. This checklist should also include steps for transferring any ongoing projects or responsibilities to permanent staff. A thorough offboarding process ensures that no residual access or data remains unsecured.


By implementing these best practices, your organization can effectively manage the integration of summer interns while maintaining a robust security posture. These measures will help protect your business from potential threats and ensure that interns contribute positively to your operations



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I have worked with Kalyn and his team for many years. He has readily handled all of our IT needs, from designing our IT strategy to our day to day computing requirements and support. Kalyn takes the time to listen to and understand our needs, delivering cost-effective and innovative IT solutions for our small business. I highly recommend working with Kalyn at Framewerx.
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