There is a belief known as optimism bias. It is where each of us thinks we are more likely to experience good outcomes than bad outcomes.
For example, most people consider themselves better than average drivers, and despite accident statistics, will think that nothing bad will happen to them when out on the road.
There are over 1.5 billion websites globally today. Does this mean cyber criminals will overlook your site, because it is only one among many?
“Cyber crime might sound like an external threat, but for many businesses, IT security risks begin close to home.”
Pick Passwords Carefully
“Most hacks depend on poor passwords,” says Lee. “Getting past your online security need not be complex. A leaked password, or phishing emails, can yield the results a hacker requires to get into your system.”
“Hackers are opportunists, like other thieves. If the passwords in your workplace are weak, then this is an opening for a cyber criminal to exploit”
“Using the word ‘password’, or the sequence ‘123456’ are still popular options, however absurd that may seem. Many people will still select passwords from the top 25 most popular options.”
What businesses should do is adopt a proper password-setting procedure. This means testing password strengths, and regularly generating and changing passwords. There is software that can do this.
“Make sure all employees are familiar with your password security, and that they follow your procedures.”
Keep Up to Date
Developers continually check and test their software and platforms for any vulnerabilities. Therefore, they issue software updates.
“You must keep your software up to date. Just as developers don’t stand still, to stay at least one step ahead, neither do hackers, and they’ll probe for weaknesses”
If businesses and organisations do not install patches, to automatically update their software and operating platforms, then they are at greater risk from hackers.
“If there are gaps in the system because of out of date software, then hackers will find them, and find their way in to your system using them.”
Look Out for Phishers
Hackers constantly send out phishing emails, hoping to get people to install malware, or give away information about themselves.
“It’s vital that all employees are aware of what to look for. There are tell-tale signs such as incorrect spelling or poor grammar. Check the sender’s email address. Things like lots of full-stops are a warning sign.”
At the same time, people can leave themselves exposed through legitimate channels, if they make it too easy for phishers to obtain personal information.
“For example, if there are things about your personal details openly on social media, don’t rely on these same details to be part of your online security questions. Such as, your hometown.”
“Be wary of visiting unencrypted websites and entering sensitive information on them. This is any site that has an http url, rather than https. Also, ensure you encrypt your own software and hard drives.”
This ensures that, should hackers obtain your data, it will be harder for them to decipher any of it.
“Install software that will protect you against viruses and malware. Security threats are not just large hacks, they can also be low level, but ultimately damaging.”
“Cyber security is something any business or organisation must embed in its policies, procedures and workplace culture,” Lee concludes. “It’s also about how you structure your business, and educate your employees, so that everyone is compliant with your IT security arrangements.
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