October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This was established 19 years ago by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). The focus for the month is “See Yourself in Cyber”, and our first week’s tip relates to taking action to stay safe online.
Since the majority of our valuable data is now stored online, we rely on technology so heavily that we can’t picture life without it. Some websites require us to register accounts, and we frequently end up creating a weak password in the hopes of simply remembering it, using the same password for every account, or writing it down on paper, which might result in a data breach. Hackers are out there waiting for their next target to obtain any valuable data that they can use against you. As a result, it is imperative to practice creating secure passwords for each of your accounts. However, because humans have a lot on their plates, it is practically hard to remember dozens of passwords, which is where employing a password manager comes into play.
Some of the mistakes we make as end users when creating passwords include using personal information such as names, birthdays, or any other personally identifiable information that makes it easy for a hacker to figure out. Another mistake is using a short and simple password. According to the Hackernews, 66 percent of Americans use the same password for multiple accounts, and 59 percent use their names or birthdays. The image below summarizes why it is critical to use long and complex passwords. Our goal is to be in the green category because the longer and more complex your password is, the longer it will take a hacker to crack it.
Utilization of Password Managers
Many third-party services exist that allow you to generate and manage a strong and unique password for all of your accounts to ensure that we are using strong passwords for our accounts. Some of the advantages of using a password manager include the ability to automatically generate and log into your apps and online accounts, monitor your passwords to generate strength reports in order to detect flaws and keep you safe, support two-factor authentication, password security alerts, and secure password sharing with other users.
It is never too late to begin practicing the usage of strong and complex passwords in order to avoid having your personal data hacked. It is one less thing to be concerned about when using the internet.
McKonly & Asbury can assist your company in managing cybersecurity threats by performing a SOC 2 engagement or a SOC for Cybersecurity engagement to identify whether effective processes and controls are in place and provide you with recommendations to detect, respond to, and mitigate and recover from breaches and other cybersecurity events. Please contact David Hammarberg leader of the firm’s SOC, Cybersecurity, Forensic Examination, and Information Technology practices. We can answer any questions and help you determine if a SOC 2 or SOC for Cybersecurity report would be useful for your company.