Cyber crime on the up – Has your business got the necessary protections in place?
Despite all the warnings, “123456” was still the most common password in 2013 according to a report by Splashdata. This is particularly worrying for businesses given that cyber crime reportedly costs the UK around £27bn each year, with disruption to organisational processes and revenue losses being the biggest cost to businesses as a result of a cyber attack. Such incursions can results in damaging viruses that enable hackers to steal a company’s intellectual property or to make confidential business information available over the internet and reports are that these kinds of criminal acts are becoming increasingly common.
It seems however that many people on a personal and business level appear not to see this type of crime as a real and imminent threat, but rather as something that happens to others. Whilst the upfront cost of up-to-date protection software may be off-putting, the potential down-time that could result from being hacked and the knock-on effect of missed deadlines can affect organisations of all sizes and in all industry sectors. Therefore expenditure on security technologies and the adoption of good internal practices should be well worth the investment.
So, if you are guilty of using your birthday or children’s names or other obvious details to formulate your password, take a look at these tips recently published by The Guardian to help you think of something more unique and secure:
- Construct a password from a sentence: “The red car and the blue car had a race” would be “tREDc&tBLUEchar”.
- Use song lyrics: “Always look on the bright side of life” would be “alotBRIGHTsol’.
- Formulate a nonsense word from others: You could use the surnames of your 5 favourite sports personalities: e.g. Murray, Rooney, Hamilton, Williams, Ennis would be “MuRoHaWiEn”
- Do not let the browser remember your password for you – if a laptop is stolen, all your secure material will be available to whoever’s hands it falls into.
- If you have to use a number, steer clear of birthdays, telephone numbers or your address, look up a totally random number associated with a fact that interests you e.g. height of Everest or Alistair Cook’s batting average.
- Implement a system that requires your employees to change their passwords on a regular basis e.g. every quarter.
If you’d like to talk about how your business can best protect itself from the threat of hacking and other data breaches then please call Tris Moore on +44 (0)1273 704789 or email [email protected].