Are You the Weakest Link?

  • Published: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020

Passwords. MFA. Updates. Patches. Secure connections. Don’t you just want to scream? What does it take to make sure that you are protecting yourself, your data and your organization in today’s digital world? There are many technological mechanisms that can be implemented to add to this protection such as firewalls, access lists and rules, content filtering, etc. But we cannot ignore the human component. Risk awareness education is key. We know that if we walk into a busy street without looking for oncoming traffic that we risk being struck by a vehicle. We know that if we eat too much fatty food that we are at risk of health and weight issues.

But should the end users bear all of the responsibility? It’s not your fault if a site or database that houses your information experiences a breach, but you have a large stake in the information that you share, should it end up on the dark web. Your passwords need to be complex and unique. A website or organization should require that you use a secure password. You aren’t off the hook. That alone can’t keep you from reusing the password on multiple sites.

Stay safe online by following some basic principles:

Don’t get phished!
Carefully scrutinize emails and links. If you don’t know who it came from -- delete it. This applies to text and phone messages as well. If it asks for personal information, make sure to check with the resource in a separate correspondence (web browser, phone call) to verify its legitimacy.

If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Schemes where gift cards, money back and amazing offers can lure you into thinking you just scored the deal of the year.

Create a secure and unique password.
Passphrases are best and easy to remember but hard for a hacker to guess. Use multifactor authentication where possible.

Use secure Internet connections when conducting business online.
Avoid public wi-fi for conducting transactions involving personal information such as banking and credit cards.

Put an emphasis on cybersecurity education.
By conditioning users to be mindful of the risks that are associated with a digital world, you can strengthen your security posture.

Resources:

The Worst Passwords of 2020