Lighthouse IT hopes you find yourself cyber-safe during this spooky October...
Especially considering it's National Cybersecurity Awareness Month!
However, if you are worried that you do not know enough about cyber security or maybe you are not sure that your company is set up to protect themselves, then here are some helpful tips that should guide you towards peace of mind.
Everyone knows that if you want something to be locked behind a gate, you need a password and that password needs to be strong. While it is smarter to make your passwords longer (no password should be shorter than eight characters), there are other ways to increase the strength of them. Using a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols is a great example of this, but believe it or not, there are more tactics!
MFA and Two-Step
There are also requirements you can set to add a second level of protection to your accounts. This is called multi-factor authentication or two-step authentication. This can include things such as using authenticator tools, like Duo Security, which provides you with random one-time codes needed to login, or push notifications on your phone to confirm your identity. Alternatively, if you want to truly ensure that only you can login, you could use biometric verification. Things like fingerprint readers, facial recognition software, or even retinal scanners can replace the need for a password all together!
Controlling your data
Most applications, websites, etc. that you need an account for have privacy settings you can edit. This is good, but you should make an effort to edit those privacy settings so that your information stays yours. Not all websites and applications can always be trusted. You should be aware of who is trying to look at it and have control over how much you give out. Be careful with what you divulge over social media and always think about who might see your posts and what those posts might reveal to them about you or your company.
Password managers are another great tool to use when you are worried about using the same password for everything, or if you need that password to change often or be shared. We recommend using a password & documentation system that can store your passwords securely while still sharing them with anyone in the organization (if you choose to do so.) You manage who has access to what and can create your living documentation around it!
When it comes to cyber security it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you are ever suspicious about a link or download or email or whatever, avoid clicking on it. It is a good idea to do some research to be aware of common scams and phishing attempts. We use (and our clients have) software that grants an extra layer of protection which can do things like catch bad links as they are clicked, but not malicious attempt is recognized by software. Often it is left up to training and common sense to ensure safe internet habits.
Disaster Recovery Plan (Fallback Plan)
In the event something does go wrong and you end up a victim of malicious software, you should have a fallback plan. One of the best disaster recovery plans is to simply keep a backup of your data isolated from the rest of your systems. We offer backup plans for this exact reason! Ransomware that blocks you from accessing your servers and data until you pay up is not quite as painful when you can simply wipe your systems and carry-on working from that backup you saved yesterday. It is also advisable to keep older backups as well, after all if you make a backup while a virus is hiding on your computer, then reverting to that backup won’t solve the problem. Multiple backups in multiple places can limit headaches in the future.
Cybersecurity can be scary! But we will be celebrating right this year!