Halloween is over – but we reveal some REALLY spooky and scary truths, without watching horror movies or even leaving your home. Threats to information security are a real and potent threat to everyone in today’s world. Even multinationals who specialise in IT, such as Nintendo, have fallen victim to attacks from cyberspace. Modern development exposes vulnerable expansions which are subject to intrusion and attack from sophisticated malware, resulting in potentially devastating security breaches. Personal pictures, bank details, emails, customer information and passwords are regularly exposed and publicised online to the detriment of their victims. Do you feel chills and have goosebumps yet?

National Cyber Security Awareness Month is a US-based initiative aimed to highlight the potential dangers and raise awareness of online hacking, theft, misuse of details, and fraud among all computers.

Surveys reveal 4 frightening responses and answers to questions about online information security;

 

People choose weak passwords, especially employees!
A recent survey asked by-passers, selected at random, to name their most common password (since people often use the same password for multiple purposes – another ‘no, no’ in terms of unnecessary vulnerability). Amazingly, some people did actually reveal their password! Of course, this information was not recorded and has not been used for any purpose other than for this article. Some others exposed the means by which they select their password. Commonly, this was a memorable word starting with a capital letter, followed by a number, either 1, 01 or 69 (69? It appears some of us still have quite a large inner child.) Weak passwords account for nearly half of personal security breaches. You are responsible for the protection, privacy and non-disclosure of your passwords. Individuals and corporate alike must understand the necessity of strict password management and password protection policies such as utilising two-factor authentication.

 

The public are confused by the ‘tech jargon’
You don’t have to be IT or security experts – however, it’s increasingly essential to have an in-depth practical knowledge of the technology, terms and definitions like malware, https, protocol, etc. One must also have a firm understanding about hacking attacks and identifying information compromisation. Strengthen your weakest link by improving your knowledge, and keep it up to date.

 

Cyber attacks are a constant threat
The bad guys do not stop. They do not give you a break. They kick you while you are down. Cyber Security Awareness Month does not stop them; rather it brings the importance of security to the forefront of our minds. However, privacy and security should always be at the heart of everything we do, whether; online, over the phone, or in person on the High Street or anywhere else. ISFX Media offer clients website security advice and advocate the need for implementing advanced anti-malware technologies.

 

Employees do not consider if their employer could become compromised
Most people surveyed erroneously do not include their employer as a vulnerable exposure to them personally. They ‘leave it to the IT guys’ in the company! Their misplaced trust in the company’s IT department employees may be severely misguided in 2014. Business’ cost-cutting often hits secondary departments such as IT and HR first. As such, IT depts often struggle to retain high quality and dedicated employees to cope with the ever-increasingly intelligent cyber hackers and criminals [1]. Secure VPN tunnels definitely help to mitigate and prevent the risks of intrusion, at very reasonable cost.

 

[1] https://www2.trustwave.com/2014-security-pressures-report.html

Happy Halloween everyone, and Trick or Treat!

Please be careful online, and in real life – your privacy is your responsibility.