The Secret To Cyber Security | Part 1

5 years ago | by Chris O'Brien

Want to know a secret? You know the big, bad cybercriminals of the world? Well, they’re totally petrified of you! Why? Because if you wise up, they’re out of business…

We often hear that SMBs are cybercriminals bread and butter, this is because they act on the assumption that small businesses tend to have lower defences than larger organisations, usually due to a lack of financial and human resources. But even if SMBs are heavily protected, cybercriminals continue to develop and advance their tactics, allowing them to slip past even the toughest security solutions. We’ve seen it in WannaCry & NotPetya – two major global attacks recently. The scariest thing is that falling victim to cybercrime is no longer a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. The good news is that be best kind of protection you can have, costs you absolutely NOTHING.

…It’s plain, and simple education. An educated end-user (you – your colleagues – your friends – your family – ANYONE using technology) has the ability to enforce security and cautiousness in everything they do online. So even though attacks to your systems are very likely to happen, you have the ability to recognise tell-signs of attempted attacks and stop them in their tracks! A business could literally have every kind of protection in place, but an uneducated end-user could still be its undoing.

So, get ready to geek out at the first of our two-part series of, ‘The Secret to Cyber Security’, where we let you in on some really simple and effective ways you can protect yourself, and everyone around you from cybercrime.

Tips For Better Security At Your Workplace:

Cybercriminals don’t exist solely online – they’ve been known to physically enter businesses and collect data and/or confidential information.

What you can do to better protect yourself at your work:

  • Keep your workspace tidy:
    What is perhaps the simplest tactic of all is often overlooked – keeping your workspace tidy.
    This ensures nothing is left out in the open that shouldn’t be – we’re talking things like sensitive documents, USBs, smartphones and other devices.
    Think about it, if these were to end up in the wrong hands, you could be putting yourself, and your company at risk.
  • Always lock your computer when you step away from your desk:
    If you don’t, any passerby’s can quickly gain access to your systems and do what they want with the information accessible from your computer -and chances are,
    you won’t even notice anything out of the ordinary until it’s too late. Audit trails aren’t going to help in this situation.
    Locking your computer is as simple as holding the Windows key and pressing ‘L’!
  • Dispose of documents correctly:
    Most documents your company have are sensitive. It’s important that you shred all documents before putting them in the recycling / trash, rather than taking a risk.
    It might sound extreme, but you can never be too careful.
  • Clean up after yourself:
    Whiteboards in meeting rooms often house information that is likely to be sensitive to your business, and therefore damaging if in the hands of others.
    Always erase notes off whiteboards. 

Tip: to save your whiteboard notes before you erase them, there is a free downloadable app for smartphones called Microsoft Office Lens which is perfect for taking photos of whiteboards at angles to reduce light glare and straightening them up. Your notes are then saved to your phone for later reference!

Best Practice For Secure Passwords:

Passwords are used to gain access to just about everything you use digitally – to open your phone or computer, check your emails, look at social media, access bank accounts, the list goes on.

It’s not uncommon that we see people using the same two or three passwords in rotation, or changed ever so slightly, so they can keep track of what their passwords are. This approach to setting passwords is very risky. If a cybercriminal cracks one password, they will quickly gain access to your other logins too. Since the passwords you use house sensitive data, funds and personal information, the stakes are very high when it comes to setting a password that gives you maximum security.

Try to follow these tips when it comes to password creation:

  • Create passwords that are at least 8 characters long,
  • Include capital letters and symbols & numbers,
  • Avoid using personal information like middle names, birthdates etc.,
  • Differentiate your passwords between different platforms, and
  • Change your passwords at least every 90 days (the more frequent the changes, the better!).

Here’s something that might make creating a password that adheres to the tips listed above, a little easier. Try to come up with a sentence or phrase that you’ll remember, that includes numbers and symbols. For example: My first car was a Toyota. It cost me $3500. Your password would end up being: MfcwaT.Icm$3500. You could even make your password that entire sentence – spaces and all!

If you find it difficult to come up with passwords, or forget them easily when you do, you might want to try a software that both generates and stores your login details for you! Ask us about C3 Identity as a Service (IDaaS).

Tip: Don’t forget to secure your phone with a strong password too! Most people have email pushing to their mobile phone which it is one of the easiest things to lose. Protecting this data is just as important as your  computer.

We’ll follow up later in the week with a couple more quick & free tips to better educate users on how to beat cybercrime. Feel free to share this with your friends and family to help them remain secure.

C3 Cyber Security – all you need to know.

Want more info on Cyber Security?

Or to learn how to better protect your business?

Get in touch with our team! Call us on 1300 661 859 or email us below.