You will agree that having passwords to access your IT devices, networks and data is the first step to securing your business data. However, having passwords is not enough. The passwords have to be strong and difficult to detect or hack into. A lot of ‘smart’ devices today such as phones, tablets and laptops come with facial recognition and fingerprint sensors that can be used in lieu of passwords. But what happens when you don’t have biometric security measures? You need to ensure that your passwords are strong and also maintain good password hygiene.
Maintaining good password hygiene involves-
- Not having passwords that are too simple or easy to crack. Ideally, a password should be at least 12 characters long, mixed case, alphanumeric and include symbols.
- Not using the same password across different sites, programs or systems. For example, having the same password for your email and laptop is a strict no-no
- Not sharing passwords with coworkers and never sharing passwords via emails or text
- Storing passwords safely and securely, and not on a piece of paper or email or in a file on the computer without encryption
- Changing passwords and revoking access after someone quits the organization or in case they wanted temporary access, then not changing the password or revoking access after their work is completed
Multi Factor authentication: Fortifying your data even further
Multi-factor authentication involves putting up multiple barriers to data access for better data security. The idea is to have another layer of security to protect your data. The first layer is usually something simple like passwords, security questions to answer, PIN numbers, etc. The second layer could be OTP, also known as, One-time-passwords, that are sent to an alternate email ID or phone number, security tokens or access cards that can be scanned and the third data security mechanism could be something personal such as fingerprint or retina scan. Having multiple security layers makes it more difficult for cybercriminals to hack into your system and access your data.
Cybersecurity is a lot of work, but you can’t afford to ignore it. The price you may have to pay if you or business becomes a target of a cybercriminal is too high to take cybersecurity lightly. Download our whitepaper, Cybersecurity basics you can’t ignore, to learn how you can safeguard your business, big or small, from cybercrime.