Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Securing the Basics

As technology continues to advance, so does the need for greater cybersecurity awareness.

Cybersecurity isn’t just a job for the IT team, everyone can, and should, play a part in keeping your business’ data safe.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This year the focus for this initiative is going back to basics on four key best practices of cybersecurity:

  • Enable multi-factor authentication
  • Use strong passwords and a password manager
  • Update software
  • Recognise and report phishing.

By ensuring you have the basics nailed down, you’re building a strong foundation to build your cybersecurity strategy.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication adds a vital layer of security to all logins. In most cases cybercriminals can’t breach an account with MFA enabled, even if they have the password.

Multi-factor authentication usually involves inputting your password, followed by one-time access code which can be sent to you via text, or obtained from an app such as Authy or Microsoft Authenticator.

For some logins you can also use your fingerprint or facial recognition as your additional authentication.

According to Microsoft, using MFA can block 99.9% of attempted account compromise attacks

Use Strong Passwords and a Password Manager

Passwords are critical to securing your accounts, even with the increased usage of biometrics. You should use strong, unique passwords for each account and avoid easily guessable information like birthdays or names.

Try to include:

  • At least 12 characters
  • At least 1 upper case letter
  • At least 1 lower case letter
  • At least 1 number
  • At least 1 symbol.

You can find our guide to creating a secure password here.

Update Software

Software that isn’t up to date creates vulnerabilities and loopholes that cybercriminals can take advantage of. Regularly updating operating systems, applications, and firmware ensures the latest security patches are in place.

Automating updates is as good way to ensure you’re always up to date.

Recognising and Reporting Phishing

Phishing attacks are a common cyber threat. Phishing is no longer limited to just email, phishing via text message is increasing, and we’re also seeing a rise in phishing messages on social media platforms.

It’s important to ensure your users know what to look out for when it comes to phishing.

  • Verify the sender.
  • Don’t open attachments or click on links if you’re unsure of the origin of the message.
  • Never provide sensitive information if you’re unsure of the origin of the message.

Another important aspect of phishing awareness is to report it. Be sure to encourage users to report a phishing email when they suspect one.

Rio can help you get the basics in place.

Need some help ensuring a more secure and resilient future? Our team of experts can get you going on the basics. Give us a call today and make sure your business is protected.