Password protection is something which most people are guilty of ignoring or not taking to seriously. However, it is the one area in which it is easiest for cyber criminals to target. Causing irreparable damage whether that be to personal accounts or business ones.
Let’s face it, in today’s era almost everything requires a password. Remembering all of these is impossible. Most people pick either 2 or 3 passwords they use across the board or sometimes only 1! Whilst easy for you to remember it is also much easier for hackers to crack. If they get one then it means they gain access to not only that area but others as well. There are different software applications which are highly secure that allow you to store your passwords so you don’t forget, such as Key Pass or LastPass.
Not as secure as you think
Cyber criminals are only getting smarter and more sophisticated in their execution of breaking into various networks. Businesses are very lucrative to cyber criminals as for the same amount of work as hacking a personal account, they gain much more information, and the reward is far greater.
The most common way cyber hackers infiltrate an organization is through phishing scams. These start where an email is sent to someone in the organization. These emails often look very realistic and can even appear to come from a client or someone else in your organization. The email will contain and attachment, link or ZIP file and once clicked allows the sender to gain access to important confidential data such as client data and organisational contacts and from there continue to send similar emails to all these contacts to get them to also click on the malicious links or open the malicious files. Even though most people know not to click on foreign content unfortunately there is always someone within a business that will do so.
Strong passwords can prevent and thwart these kind of attacks and protect you and your organisation. See the table below for the time it takes a hacker to brute force your password. A strong password should be minimum 12 characters, contain upper and lower case characters a number and a symbol character.
Ensuring your organization is protected
Ensure your organization has blocked whole countries in your blacklist e.g. @CN or @UK
Never just click a link! Copy and paste it into a notepad to check it beforehand as often you can tell from a link if it looks malicious
Ignore any urgency indicators, if it is urgent then you would be called
If your email client allows it turn on headers
Do not open compressed/Zipped attachments unless you know what it is
Do not reply to junk mail including any phishing emails
Make sure passwords are sophisticated and include a range of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols
Implement a software application such as Key Pass or LastPass. This encourages staff members to have secure passwords but also have assistance in storing them
Don’t trust your browser in saving passwords, only use a secure software application designed for password management