Even prior to the TalkTalk hack, password protection and the on going stream of email spoofs were a significant focus of the last few months. The latter are always phishing to relieve you very cheaply and easily of your hard earned money.
According to recent research from Centrify (providers of identity management services) forgetting your password is more annoying than spam email.
The cost of cyber crime has doubled in the past four years according to recent research from Ponemon. Strong passwords is one way to prevent prying eyes but just how easy is it to construct one? Also is it good to keep changing your password?
Back in 2010 Microsoft found that changing security words often cost billions of pounds as people wasted time constructing and memorising them and then forgetting them and worse leaving them unsecured.
Centrify now estimate that poor password management costs around £130,500 per year for a business of about 500 users. How they arrive at that figure is not clear. What is clear is that we really are not good at the basics of identity management. The top five mistakes being:
1. Always use the same password whenever possible.
2. Rotate through a variety of similar passwords.
3. Keep a written password in a master book of passwords.
4. Use personal information in a password.
5. Avoid using complicated symbols or combining upper and lower case.
Security management behaviour can easily be improved although it often takes a cyber attack (personal or corporate) as a wake up call. User education is key to reducing cyber crime. Here are our five top tips.
1. Avoid the traps identified above.
2. Second, use strong passwords which are really very easy to construct and remember. Take a phrase and then build a password from the first letter of each word and turn some into capitals and numerics, for example make your ‘i’ and ‘1’ and add a couple of symbols.
4. Where you have a choice adopt devices which have more than just password protection for example finger and retina recognition.
5. Be vigilant about those emails which grab your attention telling you your accounts has been hacked. Delete them without even opening them as they are almost certainly from spammers attempting some form of identity theft.
Email is often the open backdoor for a cyber attack. For more about how we help our clients to reduce the risk of email cyber crime through email best practice contact us now.