Network Security is as important as it has ever been. With the tremendous increase in cyber attacks as of the past several years, it’s crucial to be thinking about protecting your business.
In this article I have focused on 3 quick, easy, and free points for you to get started on. These will add a level of security to your business you may not previously of had. I’m sure these work for you. Enjoy!
1. Use LastPass
I can’t stress this enough. Last pass is an online password manager that not only makes your accounts more secure, but much easier to log into as well. When you sign up for a new account, or change your password, you will have the opportunity to generate a random, highly complicated password.
Last Pass will then save the password of any site you log in to, so you don’t have to enter it each time.
Whenether you go to a login screen, your credentials will already be set up.
Last pass is a very secure application to use.
The only password you have to remember is the master password, which will log you into the application. Much easier than remembering multiple passwords!
If you would like to start using the free application Last Pass, you can find it here: https://www.lastpass.com/
2. Use 2 Factor Authentication
2 Factor Authentication (2FA) is simply the process of providing 2 pieces of information to sign into an account rather than just the one password. It is useful for adding that next layer of network security. You may have used 2FA before when you have been trying to relocate a password from an account. You may have to receive a code on your mobile to prove it’s you, or you may have to enter two passwords or codes to access your online banking.
You can set 2FA up on many different programs now including Office 365, Gmail, Outlook, Online banking, Last Pass, Payments, YouTube, WhatsApp etc. You can use 2FA in various ways, such as receiving a code via SMS, a phone call, and email or tokens. If you want to find out more about 2FA, I have written a blog about it here: https://www.ingeniotech.co.uk/2016/07/two-factor-authentication/
3. Know what a Phishing email looks like
This goes for your employees too. Google and Facebook have recently lost $1 million due to a phishing email. Email is still the most popular tool cyber criminals use to compromise your network.
Darren Thomson, Chief Technology Officer for Symantec in Europe, said its statistics suggest about 1 in every 131 email messages was now harbouring some kind of cyber-threat.
All you need to do to compromise your network is to click on a link from an email, or open an attachment. Therefore, it’s important to not open attachments or click links from contacts you don’t recognise.
However, it is common for cyber criminals to send emails pretending to be disguised as one of your contacts. For example, they may pretend to be a supplier of yours and ask for money to be transferred. This is a red flag.
A Phishing email has the following characteristics:
- Display URLs that don’t match their path. You can hover over a link in an email and after a couple of seconds it will display the actual URL it will send you too. If this actual URL looks suspicious to you (i.e. lots of random characters and not a trusted domain) it’s best to ignore the email.
- A lot of phishing emails demand immediate action. This could be a claim your account is being compromised and you need to click this link ASAP to recover it.
- Asking for payment. Many phishing emails go for the hard theft and ask you to input card details. The reasoning behind this can often get very creative such as someone impersonating your boss and asking you to put payment through again as it bounced the first time. $2.3 billion last year was given to scammers through this process.
- Unofficial Contact Address. An example to look out for would be to receive an email from ‘@Microsoft-inc.com’, which isn’t consistent with the official Microsoft email domain we know: ‘@microsoft.com’.