Password management is not as easy as it once was. Cybercriminals have continued to get better at hacking, and therefore, the need for more complicated passwords has never been greater. However, remembering multiple passwords, comprised of a variety of characters, has become an arduous task. Password managers are a logical tool for keeping track of what passwords you use for multiple websites. They can also generate strong, random multi-character passwords that will be more secure than those you create on your own.
In general, password managers are better than we are at creating and storing strong passwords. However, using password managers that are built into web browsers is another matter. If you use a built-in password manager and fall victim to a cyberattack, the hacker can gain remote access to your computer and steal all your passwords in one hit. In addition, because all your passwords are stored in one place, it is easier for cybercriminals to breach your private information and even steal your identity. It is as if you turned over your master key that opens a locked box that holds all of your keys. Furthermore, if you leave your computer open and unattended, anyone can access all your accounts.
Many password managers are free. However, one must apply due diligence before randomly selecting free password management software and downloading it. As with all internet-related matters, think before you click. Many free password managers lack sufficient security against data breaches and are meant to draw the user in for nefarious reasons. Also, some are just poorly written programs with lots of frustrating bugs. The concept of password management is to make your work more convenient and efficient, not slow you down, dealing with freezing or malfunctioning programs.
A family medical practice in Philadelphia started to have too many different passwords for different functions. Employees were also getting lazy about securing their own passwords. One of their physician’s assistants doubled as their IT point person. They suggested the office get a password manager for everyone to use. Unfortunately, he didn’t do sufficient research and gave insufficient weight to the differences between programs. He didn’t understand the most important features they needed, but he assured the practice’s managing partner that most password managers were alike, and he found what he believed to be a good one. He installed it system-wide. After six weeks of using the password manager, the practice suffered a significant data breach and theft of all the office’s passwords. In one attack, the cybercriminal was able to harvest everything he needed to gain access to several areas of the practice’s data. For a high compliance business, a data breach of patient files could be deadly. Had it not been caught early, it would’ve put all the most confidential medical records at risk of a breach and put the practice out of business. After recovering from that event, the managing partner decided cyber security was beyond his expertise and hired experts to help build and maintain suitable security protocols for his business.
Small to midsized businesses need a business-wide strategy for dealing with cyber security. Passwords are the outer gates of that security. In today’s cyber environment, a piecemeal approach to securing your network is insufficient. Many layers of security are essential to affording your business the maximum protection required against cyberattacks. A comprehensive, all-encompassing plan must be tailor-made to your company and maintained by IT professionals. It is no longer a job for an employee who doubles as your “computer guy.” As the hackers get more proficient, we must take the necessary steps to be more proficient in our approach to data protection.
If you’ve already been the victim of a hacked password and the resultant data breach, you know you have to take immediate steps to ensure it never happens again. If you have not yet fallen victim to a cybercrime, you should act now. It starts with your passwords and multifactor authentication. But there is so much more a small to midsized business needs to do to ensure adequate cyber protection. You might already be using some protective measures. But as your business grows and adds more devices such as smart controls, wireless access and remote access, your network surface attack area for hackers grows, too. Expertise is required to evaluate your vulnerabilities and build the proper cyber security protocols. DIGIGUARD specializes in preventing cyberattacks and has a wide array of solutions for small and midsized businesses. It works with companies to establish cyber security best practices to ensure their confidential data has the best protection possible. Many companies, bound by strict compliance and privacy laws, such as law firms, medical practices and financial services, cannot afford data breaches and must apply additional data protection measures. For any business, cyberattacks can have devastating consequences. DIGIGUARD can assess your cyber risks and work with you to ensure you have the best protection solution for your business.
Contact DIGIGUARD CYBER SECURITY at 833-33-CYBER (833-332-9237) www.DIGIGUARDsecurity.com to start locking down your cyber security and protecting all your passwords and hard-earned private and personal data.