Did you know October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month? Cybersecurity Awareness Month is hosted by the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA). This year the NCSA has chosen to focus on these four cybersecurity topics again: multi-factor authentication, using strong passwords and password managers, updating your software, and recognizing and reporting phishing. The goal is to focus on the basics we can do to better protect our small businesses as the basics can go a long way!
This is one of the best ways to minimize unauthorized access to your accounts. Multi-factor is implemented using different methods like push notifications, expiring passcodes, or text messages just to name a few. In many cases, multi-factor authentication is a free service built right into your accounts.
Strong Passwords and Password Managers
Passwords need to be unique, complex, and long. This means you only use a password once and for only one account. This also means a password needs to have upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Lastly, this means a password should be a minimum of 16 characters long or longer. Using unique, complex, and long passwords can be challenging though, how does one go about remembering them all? Try a password manager!
Password managers are great as they remember all of your passwords for you, usually in an easy to use app. Password managers are cybersecurity tools that can remember your passwords, create strong passwords, allow access on multiple devices, and most importantly store your passwords in a secure and encrypted vault.
Update your stuff
Updates play a critical role in reducing the chances of becoming a victim of malware. Most of the time we can safely automate our computer to update regularly so we don’t have to think about it. If you cannot automate, set a schedule to follow to ensure you are regularly checking for and installing any updates.
Phishing emails and other scams
The last topic of focus for Cybersecurity Awareness Month is phishing and what to do if you receive a phishing email. We talk a lot about phishing at Security Bytes as it is one of the most used attack methods. Be on the lookout for emails that offer something too good to be true, emails that pressure you into making a quick decision, unusual work requests, and/or emails that just seem different. If you receive an email like this, try to contact the sender directly to verify if it is legitimate.
For more information on cybersecurity and your small business, check out Small Business, Big Threat!