Treat cybersecurity like your house - how to stay secure online
Thought Leadership, Security
By Steve Moros, Director of Cybersecurity, Cisco Australia and New Zealand
As our time online increases and as we use the internet more and more, protecting our online footprint and data is key. This is especially important as our mobile connectivity increases. Australia’s mobile data traffic is expected to grow exponentially, with the gigabyte equivalent of all movies ever made to cross mobile networks every 13 hours by 2022.
Good cybersecurity hygiene and awareness is more important than ever before, especially considering the changing threat landscape. With sophisticated hackers looking to actively collect data with a tool kit that is continuously evolving, it can sometimes be a race to stay safe online.
And with your personal and professional information online and mobile, cyber breaches can have a huge impact.
And remember, don’t use the same password on all your sites or applications, especially sites that are less trustworthy or secure.
There are lots of different ways to stay cybersecure, and the simplest place to start is with a resilient password. World Password Day was marked earlier this month, calling out the importance of taking a moment to stop and check that your password is doing its job for you.
And the best bit? Updating your password is free. Here are some tips to stay cybersecure.
Make it personal: Get creative, change it regularly
According to SplashData, ‘123456’ has been the most common password for the last five years running, with ‘password’ in second place. Creating complex passwords that are unique to each site and application is an easy way to protect your data. Using a series of upper and lower case letters as well as symbols is one way to make passwords slightly more complicated to crack. Making it unusual is a great way to add another layer of protection. With passwords, the stranger the better! Changing it regularly will also help you stay more secure.
Remembering many different passwords can be a challenge, so a password manager application is a great option to avoid the hassle of remembering it all.
Bring in a front gate: consider multi-factor authentication
Do you have a front gate? Do you use two keys to get into your home?
Introducing multi-factor authentication is another way to provide a security layer to your system, in addition to a password.
The benefit of this is there is still another security layer for the criminals to get through, should the unfortunate happen, and your password is breached.
How does it work? Multi-factor authentication with a zero-trust solution verifies the identity of users and the health of their devices before providing access to applications.
Cloud solutions also provide an effective security option that is open, automated and simple to set up, providing a first line of defence in protecting all your internet-facing applications.
This can be particularly useful for businesses that have people working more mobile and connecting from multiple locations, to help block threats by understanding internet activity patterns, which identifies risks.
For a first line of defence, cloud based products like Umbrella is a great way to stay secure and gain visibility on what’s occurring on your network. Think of it as leaving the house when it’s raining – it’s your first layer of protection.
Always remember your insurance policy: back it up
As well as a strong password, never forget your insurance policy: backing it up.
This will allow you to access your data should the worst happen: cyber criminals entering your online fortress.
When it comes to cyber security, there is no ‘silver bullet’. However, implementing and practising these measures will help will provide an important first line of security defence for you, making it harder, and more complicated, for criminals to enter your network and steal your data.
In addition to the above, finding out more about how you can protect your personal and professional devices is key, such as reading up on cyber hygiene, understanding the threat landscape and educating yourself. With the cyber security environment changing all the time, understanding where the threats are and how you can protect yourself is important.
It all starts with your password.