Cyber security: The IT world can be confusing to most; the complex nature of how technology works can sometimes give you a headache, particularly in relation to cyber security. Don’t be fooled by myths and hype – this is just a scaremongering tactic to sell more services or products. We’ve decided to take it upon ourselves and break down the most common myth busters and provide you with the hard facts. Have a little scroll, you know you want to.
Here are a few interesting myths that might surprise you…
- Macs don’t get viruses – if you’ve purchased macs for your entire workforce on the pretence that they don’t get viruses, then we have some bad news for you… this is a myth. Macs can catch viruses although they are less likely to be affected as there are fewer macs than PCs in the world.
- Incognito mode conceals your identity – it’s true that your history and cookies are erased after each session but that doesn’t mean your activity is. Regardless of the browser you use, your computer is still being tracked by your internet provider, your network, the websites you visit and the government Googles VPNs
- You should shut down your computer every night – it’s good practice to shut down your computer when it’s not in use, but it’s not always necessary – power saving mode or standby are just as sufficient. Most people prefer to run updates, backups and other system tasks in the evenings as a restart is sometimes required. Although this one isn’t a huge myth buster, it’s still a good one to know!
- Nothing can break through a firewall – sadly not, although that would be amazing! Don’t get us wrong, firewalls are an important necessity to have, however, a more robust IT security solution that includes firewalls are recommended. Businesses need to look into spam-prevention, content filtering, intrusion detection, threat management and anti-virus services to ensure security in all areas.
- Common sense is the only security you need – NO. it’s unlikely that you don’t have important files saved on your PC, especially if you’re a business. The question you need to ask yourself is “do I know what data cybercriminals are after”? If you use your computer to check emails, scroll through social media, online shop or occasionally pay the odd bill, then you’re exposing your data with significant risk. Long story short, SECURE YOUR COMPUTER.
Let’s set the record straight…
- BYOD or “bring your own device” is one of the biggest threats to data security – if you’ve been allowing your employees to bring to work their own personal devices such as laptops and smartphones, it’s likely that they aren’t protected by your secure company network. This seemingly innocent allowance now provides cyber criminals the opportunity to access your private company data via these devices. Ensure all devices, personal or professional are protected, safeguarded and complying with your company’s security policy.
- Passwords – are they important? YES. Should you keep your password a secret? YES. Should your password be something a little more complex than ‘Password’? YES. YES. YES. Should your password be changed periodically? YES SIR. Poor passwords are bad excuses and are often the first point of entry for cybercriminals. It’s always best practice to create a more robust password or even a passphrase and update your password often to maintain security. There are applications such as Keeper that can help store your passwords securely if you have a hard time remembering them. Opt for this method rather than ‘password123’.
- Emails are by far the most likely way a cybercriminal will strike an attack – you may think emails are just emails, but they’re SO MUCH MORE. What appears to be a completely innocent email can in fact be a cybercriminal’s attempt at stealing your data. Businesses should utilise threat-protection software that can identify phishing, malware and spam messages and intercept them before they can cause harm.
- Public Wi-Fi isn’t always safe – if you don’t have private Wi-Fi set up in your business environment then you could be potentially inviting cybercriminals to steal yours, your clients or your employee’s personal information. As harmless as free Wi-Fi sounds, checking your social media, bank balance or emails all require a login and you never know who is lurking in the background of an unsecure network waiting to steal your access details. We strongly advise that you install private Wi-Fi if you haven’t already – the benefits of doing so mean your identity and personal information is encrypted, protected and secure.
- PCI compliance isn’t required by law – this is true, it’s not a legal requirement but a standard. However, if your business is responsible for taking payments via card then you’re storing personal data. By not having expertly installed and managed networks, computers and internet connections, then that personal data that you’re collecting isn’t protected and you’re at a high risk of becoming a victim to data breaches. Furthermore, you could attract fines for non-compliance, and no one wants that! We suggest using security-driven technology such as Fortinet with expert products that are designed to lower the hassle of regulatory compliance whilst providing security and reassurance. Protect data, keep PCI compliant.