Cyber Security Awareness

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Did you know that cyber security should be within the first line of defence for your business? When we start talking about cyber security, we focus mainly on the most up-to-date software and hardware to act against cyber security risks and threats. It’s our experience that companies and business owners focus more on protecting hardware and software against cyber threats, but they forget about the most important process – providing adequate training for their staff. Companies forget that they need to be vigilant against the human weakness factor.

More than 90% of all Cyber attacks are achieved where PC users are solicited through emails to click on links, open attachments and provide personal information and passwords. By educating and encouraging greater cyber awareness among your staff, they will be able to recognise fraudulent e-mails. Cyber security is not just the IT departments’ problem, it is the whole company’s problem. Cyber security needs to be understood by employees, or systems will be compromised.

Here are some cyber security tips that should be second nature to everyone:

1.            Passwords

Passwords are one of the primary areas of exposure in cyber security.

Change your passwords as often as possible. Do not use the same password more than once – if your password is compromised, a hacker will have access to wherever you have previously used it. Never use dictionary words in your passwords.

One of the best ways to create a memorable password is to use sayings, for example “Mary had a little lamb” and “The early bird catches the worm”. By combining the first letter of each word, you have created a password that is very difficult to break i.e. Mhall&Tebctw.

Then you can go even further by replacing letters with special characters. Mh@!!&Tebctw.

You can then use this password more than once by adding the app or site first three letters to the password and it will stay unique. Mh@!!&Tebctw-Fac for Facebook. Mh@!!&Tebctw-Twi for Twitter.

Use two-factor authentication where possible.

2.            Downloads

Only download files from credible sources. Malware are often found in downloaded files.

3.            Updates

Always ensure that all your apps are updated.

4.            Anti-Virus

Always ensure that you have anti-virus software installed on your computer and all smart devices.

5.            Social Media

Exercise caution when posting private and sensitive information on social media as hackers can use this information.

6.            Personal information on web pages

Always ensure that a website is secure before entering any personal or sensitive information onto the site.  A website is secure if it features “HTTPS” in its URL.

7.            Attachments

Never open any email attachments from senders that you do not know. Even if you know the person, but the attachment appears to be different in any way, first enquire from them if they actually sent it.

8.            Removable Media

Malware can easily spread though external hard drives, flash drives, and any type of external memory, even your smart phone.  Ensure that your business deploys strict protocols in terms of the use of external media within the office environment.

9.            Backups

Make sure that you have regular backups of all your data.

10.          Training

Regular cyber security training is most probably the most important tip of all. Make sure that your staff know what to click on and open and what not, and how to react in the event of a cyber event being detected.  With employee cyber security training you will significantly reduce the risk to your company.