A new year has begun, and that means one thing: resolutions. Easily made, even more easily broken, they’re nevertheless a useful way of setting goals for the next 12 months. With a new year ahead, there’s no better time than now to refocus the lens on IT and your the commitment of your business putting its best tech foot forward.
Even though some Cybersecurity threats are out of our hands as individual internet users, there are some steps that we can take in order to boost our online safety. As we work our way into the New Year, a lot of us are considering how we might like to change certain aspects of our lives and our online existence shouldn’t be overlooked.
Cyber threats such as crypto jacking, phishing and ransomware are likely to increase and evolve throughout 2019, so get going on your Cybersecurity New Year’s resolutions before it’s too late.
5 New Year’s Resolutions to boost your Cybersecurity:
We all know how difficult it can be to stick to a New Year’s resolution so, as with anything else in your life, don’t set yourself unrealistic goals in the Cyber department.
These resolutions do not take a lot of time to implement, they just require dedication and commitment. Always remember, airtight security could save you a lot more than just money, but your reputation too.
- Restrict yourself to secure websites
Since browsing is often what users do most, it’s worth taking browser security and privacy seriously. If you’re unhappy that your clickstream (the log of sites you visit) is unsecure and If you want to ensure that you never accidentally visit an insecure site, you can add extensions to your browsers that will limit all your activity to https sites. HTTPS Everywhere is free and easy to activate regardless of whether you’re using Chrome, Firefox or Opera.
If a website only has HTTP at the site address at the top of the screen- you shouldn’t be there. The problem is, by the time you’ve seen the address, you’ve already entered the website which means any traffic flowing between yourself and the website can be intercepted and modified. Whilst you may not see this as a big deal, you could be at a significant financial loss.
- Stay Updated
Updating your software can be a pain, however by not managing your software updates appropriately could have major consequences, like identity theft and malware infections. In 2017 WannaCry ransomware tore through the UK and Europe. Ransomware attacks were nothing new, but this one had a secret weapon, a sophisticated software exploit known as EternalBlue, published by the Shadow Brokers in April 2017 and was believed to have been developed by the NSA.
In the WannaCry case by downloading a Windows security patch would have prevented the attack for many organisations. Outdated software makes your device much more vulnerable to hackers as the updates are designed to deal with bugs and holes in the coding that will allow cybercriminals to access your software, files and device.
Unfortunately, many of us prefer the comfort zone offered by the software we’re familiar with and we always would rather hold onto what we know than go through the uncomfortable learning curve required with change. However, hackers are always one step ahead. Meaning they know their way around all security measures and know exactly which buttons to push in order to infect your device with malware.
To keep up-to-date with the latest updates, always check your device’s settings and activate automatic updates or download a software update like to check and manage your updates for you.
- Take extra care with emails
The modern world is full of dangers and whilst it’s good to be a trusting person- you should trust no one when it comes to Cybersecurity. Some level of cynicism is necessary for your own protection, especially when it comes to your emails.
Not only can emails contain malicious attachments that endanger you and everyone on your contact list, but a weak password for your email account could also give someone access to your personal information and leave you exposed to identity theft.
Phishing scams, spam emails, and the likes are both dangerous and while we can use our common sense to avoid the threats, there are other ways to create a safer environment, such as using an encrypted email account. As well as taking the minimum steps of checking the email address of the sender, users can also use Protonmail and Startmail, who both offer free encrypted email services that can help to prevent spam and phishing attacks whilst also shielding you from unwanted surveillance.
- Update your passwords
According to SplashData, obvious and insecure passwords such as ‘12345’ and ‘password’ are still very common, despite the fact that a SplashData survey also revealed that 80% of participants felt that Cybersecurity was very important. Knowing its important is one thing, but doing something about it is another thing.
Passwords that are too obvious make it easy for hackers to access your personal data, which could result in identity theft or blackmail, to name just two potential cyber threats. Changing your passwords frequently and resisting the urge to use the same one on numerous sites can improve your online safety significantly. However, if you’re constantly coming up with new password ideas and trying to remember them can be hard to handle. A way of controlling this securely is through password management tools in order to help keep track of and generate strong passwords that are capable of frustrating cyber criminals at every turn.
- Secure your communications
The number of mobile users around the world is projected to exceed the five billion mark by the end of 2019. With this swift rise, unfortunately cybercriminals are constantly changing and adapting their methods to profit from the growing number of potential victims. Cyber criminals will continue to look for ways to exploit vulnerabilities in operating systems, apps and software trying to capitalise on security flaws before manufacturers patch and find them.
With the continued rise of mobile devices, there is also a rise in the amount of information being shared electronically. The content of users messages and phone calls are constantly becoming more valuable to cyber criminals. Mobile interception is a growing threat for many on mobile phone users, with technology capable of tracking users, listening to their conversations and even logging their application usage becoming more pervasive and more affordable. With these capabilities, Cyber Espionage is on the rise. So how can organisations protect the information that they communicate about?
Use encryption- Encryption is becoming a fundamental aspect of technology in 2019, especially for messaging and calls. Encryption secures our data and online communications by using a variety of complex algorithms which can’t be read or accessed by third-party agencies or hackers. There are multiple ways you can encrypt your data. Salt Communications, a secure enterprise communications provider, are committed to using the latest and greatest open-source encryption techniques on the market. This method of communication ensures that the company are continually providing customers with the highest level of security possible. Whilst encryption alone is a crucial aspect of security, it alone is not enough when securing your communications.
Organisations need to be able to control their communications; who gets access to the communications system, who communicates with whom within the company, as well as how and where there metadata is stored and managed. These capabilities are crucial for organisations when needing to share important information with other users within the organisation.
Take measures now and contact Salt Communications. Have security software for both computer and smartphone devices: The Salt Communications app will enable you to have secure communications anywhere you go. The solution gives you the freedom to manage your own software and is easy to deploy by using multi layer encryption techniques to meet the highest of security standard.
Make sure Cybersecurity is one of your top priorities during 2019 and stay one step ahead of cybercrime with the tips from above. Rather than resting on your laurels or setting yourself unachievable targets- focus on the things you can change and that will actually make a positive impact on your corporate Cybersecurity.
If you would like to protect your organisation in 2019 consider Salt Communications. We understand the security of mobile communications in today’s global business environment is paramount, that’s why Salt Communications is built with the features and technology to keep your communications private and compliant.
If you have any questions about this article, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to assist you in any way.
About Salt Communications
Salt Communications, ranked in the top half in the Cybersecurity 500, provides a fully enterprise-managed software solution that enables absolute privacy in mobile communications. It is easy to deploy and uses multi-layered encryption techniques to meet the highest of security standards. The Salt Communications Desktop and Mobile apps are intuitive and easy to install and use. Salt Communications’ Communication Manager provides a console for tight management of users and can be configured for the management of regulatory compliance. Salt Communications is headquartered in Belfast, Ireland, for more information visit saltcommunications.com.