- Research conducted by CSO Online determined that 95% of all malware attacks originate from malicious email.
- In 2020, the U.N disarmament chief, Izumi Nakamitsu, announced that malicious email attacks increased by 600% from 2019-2020!
- A Fortinet study that same year identified that 1 in 3,000 emails contained malware and 1 in 4,000 emails contained a previously unknown strain of malware.
In honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, O’Mard Consulting Services, LLC has partnered with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) to provide you with tips and tricks that you can use to improve your security posture! This week, we will focus on the basics of cybersecurity.
Technology is essentially the bedrock of modern society. I mean let’s face it, everything nowadays seems to be connected to the internet. I bet you know someone who has a “smart fridge” or a smart “insert an appliance that really doesn’t need to be connected to the internet…). With technology playing such a vital part in our daily lives, being “cyber smart” is of the utmost importance. Luckily for us, basic cybersecurity best practices prevent the majority of attacks which target the average person. With that being said, here are a few tips that you can use to improve your overall security posture:
- Enable Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
MFA protects your account by requiring you to verify that you are in fact trying to log into your account. This is done by confirming your identity via a second method of authentication. This second method could be anything from a set of numbers sent to you via email or text, to an app that prompts you to confirm a login attempt. I know, having to wait for a text, a random set of numbers generated by a security token, or utilizing a security key adds an additional 10 seconds to your website login process but did you know that MFA stops roughly 99.9% of account takeover attacks? Pretty impressive for something that takes less than a minute to setup!
- Use Strong Passwords and a Password Manager
The use of strong passwords in conjunction with a password manager is often overlooked when it comes to securing your online accounts. We all know of someone who either a) uses the same password across multiple accounts or b) writes down their passwords because it is hard to remember a 20-character password that contains a special character, an uppercase and lowercase letter, a number, and a sacrifice to the all might cyber overlord. That’s where password managers come to the rescue. Password managers allow you to develop a complex and unique password for each of your accounts! All you need to do is remember the master password for your password manager (which should also be secure and unique). Now you’ve gone from having to remember 87 passwords to just one.
- UPDATE YOUR SOFTWARE!
This one is in all caps because let’s be real, many of our readers hate to update their software because they think it will break something (yes, we’re talking to you with the iPhone that’s still running stock iOS). While software updates in many cases introduce new functionality to a device, these updates typically also introduce security improvements to address recently disclosed vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to compromise your device. Remember, some of the most damaging cyber attacks in recent history could have been easily prevented if the victims simply updated their devices.
- Do Your Homework
Would you go to a restaurant or stay at a hotel without checking the reviews? Well then, you should take a look at the reviews and developer information for an app before you download it. Most app stores are good at filtering out the bad apps from the good ones however, sometimes malicious apps do make their way into an app store. These malicious apps use names similar to legitimate apps to confuse users into downloading an app that may steal your credentials or ruin your device. Make sure to pay attention to what people are saying in the reviews, and pay particular attention to who created the app. A Microsoft app such as PowerPoint shouldn’t be developed by a random person or a company other than Microsoft.
- Periodically Review Your Privacy Settings
Everyone shouldn’t have unfettered access to you, and the world shouldn’t be able to see everything that you post online. The following link list ways you can update your privacy settings across a plethora of websites and devices: Manage Your Privacy Settings
Enabling MFA, using a strong password in conjunction with a password manager, updating your software, doing your homework when installing a new app, and periodically reviewing your privacy settings are great ways to improve your security posture as you navigate the digital world known as the internet!
Have any questions regarding any of the tips mentioned above, or cybersecurity best practices in general? Contact us and we will be glad to assist you with your security needs! Make sure to subscribe to our mailing list to stay up to date with our latest security tips and tricks.