We’ve all seen media stereotypes portraying hacking as a honed technical skill accomplished with a few strokes of a keyboard. While there are tons of randomized security flaws that hackers can exploit to take advantage of weaknesses in systems, at the end of the day it’s a lot easier to get a human to give you entry.
Unfortunately there are a multitude of ways in which the tendency to disregard proper digital hygiene can give unwanted hackers access to otherwise secure systems. The best way to combat this issue is by training staff to follow recommended digital hygiene practices and to make them aware of the consequences of not doing so.
One of the most common ways hackers exploit bad digital hygiene is by gaining access to improperly secured databases of passwords. With passwords, hackers can access emails, which can help them access any account that uses one of those emails as a login.
How can you prevent this? Ensure that employees use long passwords (20 characters should be a standard) that are stored in secure password managers that encrypt the information. Requiring employees to use multi-factor authentication where possible can stop a lot of hacking attempts.
Keep Track of Old Accounts
Most of us have more online accounts than we can even name. From banking services to social media to old forums, these accounts are sometimes created and forgotten about. If you or an employee used to use the same password for everything, they probably updated it eventually on sites they use often, but those they don’t use or have forgotten about can stay out there, waiting for a hacker to get into it and use the information there to access more important accounts.
The best way to avoid this is to make sure that every password you and your staff use is unique. Never use the same password for more than one account. If you do, then when one account is compromised countless others may be as well. In addition, accounts on old platforms that are no longer maintaining security updates poses additional risks for those accounts being hacked.
Be Aware of Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are one of the most common methods that hackers use to get login information. They may pose as a legitimate company and trick users into entering their login information on a page that is set up to capture that info instead of logging into the service.
The best way to avoid this is to teach employees to recognize phishing attempts when they see them. Remind staff never to follow links in emails or text messages from any source they aren’t 100% positive is legitimate.
Large hacks can wreck companies and organizations in a day. The time taken to prevent hackers from illegally accessing, ransoming, or stealing your information could save you millions and save your business. Around 66% of businesses that suffer a data breach do not survive for another year.
So take the time now to educate your staff about how to keep your business safe. Not sure where to start? Contact the cybersecurity experts at tekRESCUE to learn more.