Posted on January 9, 2020
With Christmas not long behind us, many people will be entering the new year with the new personal electronic devices they have received. Whether a laptop, phone, tablet or PC, if the data stored on these devices get into the wrong hands it could lead to reputational damage and sensitive information of both individuals and organisations being leaked.
However, there are steps that can be taken to better protect the devices of both yourself and your organisation from cyberattacks so data stays protected.
There are simple measures that can be put in place to make it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your organisations’ devices, including making sure they are protected by a strong password. The longer it is, the stronger it is. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recommends using three random words that are memorable to you, but no one else, as well as the use of uppercase letters, numbers and symbols. Some devices even allow a biometric, such as fingerprint or facial recognition, as a means to unlock it.
Any and all high priority accounts should be protected with two-factor verification (2FA), often involving a PIN code being sent to your mobile phone the first time you log in from a new device. This acts as a second layer of protection on your account and makes it very difficult for attackers to gain access.
Your primary email address is a perfect example of an ‘important’ account. If you lose access to any of your accounts, reset details will be sent to your primary email account and therefore contain a key to your online identity. For this reason, it’s important that it is protected with 2FA.
Flaws or bugs in software or apps can be exploited by cybercriminals to gain access to the devices and details of your organisation. With manufacturers continuously working to keep them secure by releasing regular updates fixing these bugs, it is imperative to regularly update your apps or devices. It is advised that you update software as soon as you are prompted to or set some devices to automatically update so you don’t even need to think about it!
Before selling or giving devices to a new owner, it is recommended that you factory reset it so that all your personal data is deleted. By ensuring your device is wiped, the new owner can’t use your information in a potentially harmful way.
If something does go wrong with a device within your organisation or you think you may have been hacked, make sure you do something about it. Visit the device manufacturer’s website to get advice on what to do, or, report the incident to the NCSC.
To help protect your organisation and devices, we’ve partnered with Centrify who offer cybersecurity solutions that aid user security as well as the outside threats. To find out how SIRE can help with your organisation’s cybersecurity, talk to us on 01344 758700 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org