Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

Let’s Put These Security Myths to Rest

login password on lcd screen macro

login password on lcd screen macro

Every summer, thousands of hackers get together for the Def Con conference in Las Vegas. The term “hacker” makes the participants seem like bored adolescents with some computer skills. In reality, Def Con attendees are highly trained mathematicians, cryptographers and computer scientists. They share ideas and, above all else, remind business owners that the things they believe about their security are simply not true.

Myth: Employees Will Keep Data Safe Because They Fear Being Fired

The most common security practice of companies with more than five employees is to implement policies and procedures for data safety and then assume that the fear of repercussion will keep the information safe. This is called a “Comply or Die” model, but it no longer works in our collaborative world.

When creating your company policies, assume that there will be a blending of security measures. Passwords will be shared, and several people will be working on one project.

Myth: Your Password Is Safe If You Do Not Write It Down

There is a fine balance between password security and usability. Your cat’s name or your firstborn’s date of birth is easy to remember, but they introduce a level of vulnerability. A string of random numbers is more secure but hard to remember.

Cryptographers and IT specialists recommend that you weigh the human factor when coming up with password requirements and policies. One example is Shamir’s secret sharing theme in which a complex password is created with several uncomplicated pieces.

Myth: Hosted Software Is Safe

It is quite the trend to move data and processes onto the cloud and use shared Software as a Service (SaaS), thinking that this is more secure. On one hand, there are some benefits to the SaaS platforms in that they are often more up to date with security software. The downside is that they are designed to be remotely accessed, making them prime targets for hackers.

When looking at this myth, analyze the business information of the hosting company. A well-run business will more likely devote funds to software upgrades and security staff.

Myth: Hardware Is Being Protected

Surveys of the industry show that the embedded programming into hardware is not very secure. There is an assumption on the part of the consumer that security protocols are being put into place. However, if someone can get physical control of your hardware by entering the server room or router location, then this person can control your grid. Place security cameras at vulnerable locations to identify potential breaches of your communication network.

Myth: Smartphones Are Safe

Smartphones are little computers with a lot of personal information in them. The only reason that they have not been hacked at the same rate as large server networks is that smartphones’ operating platforms are relatively new. There is very little legacy code for hackers to use. As time passes, this code will become more common and more vulnerable. Use a password on your smartphone and make sure you have a virus blocker.

Myth: Macs Can’t Get Viruses

Many businesses purchase Apple computers thinking that they are invulnerable to malware and security attacks. This simply is not true. The Microsoft systems tend to be more plug-and-play compatible, which means that there is more opportunity to download malware, but both systems are vulnerable to security breach.

Posted on April 27th, 2016 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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