IT Security Basics

IT Security Basics

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IT security has in recent times been a hot topic. It has become a serious concern for businesses and individuals alike, as far as confidentiality, availability and integrity is concerned. Cyber threat has never been this eminent, as a lot of people and businesses are now taking their information and data online. It is time people are knowledgeable about this subject and not take anything for granted. While you may be thinking your information online is insignificant, hackers think otherwise. Below are a few basics you need to know about the security of your data online.

Strong Passwords

Everybody is aware of making sure their passwords are protected and kept from public eye. This is to show how important a password can be. However, this is sometimes not enough, as hackers are getting smarter by the day. A more effective approach is to completely make sure that your password combinations are difficult and complicated to be detected or guessed by any human or computer. As a rule of thumb, it should be at least 6 characters, should include both lower and upper cases, number, and not leaving out symbols. All of these should as much as possible be unrelated to any details about you or a dictionary word.

Initiate Patches and Updates Regularly

Any laxity in keeping patch and making updates regularly makes your system vulnerable to cyber attacks. You must ensure that your application, operating systems, plug-ins are patched and updated. To be on a safer side, always ensure that all applications and software running are in their current versions – particularly programs like adobe flash, Microsoft internet explorer, Oracle Java, Microsoft Office suite and Adobe Acrobat and reader. Where applicable, enable a an automatic update.

VPN Security

Securing your VPN reduces your vulnerability to exploitations by hackers. An open connection on the other hand allows hackers to sneak in and tamper with your data. At all times, it is important that your authentication and encryption protocol are strong. The most secure is usually the multi-factor authentication – it gives hackers a lot of steps to verify their identity. The more of these steps they have to go through, the better the security.

User Access Privileges

Improper management of user access privileges is one of the main reason hackers are able to easily penetrate your security and access your system. As a company, access of employee to critical data should be restricted –  particularly if it goes beyond their job requirements. Even if it does not, it should be monitored and managed on an ongoing basis. As an individual, you want to be mindful about how many of your friends or family have access to your accounts. The higher the user access privileges, the greater the threat.

Any business that thinks it’s too small to attract the attention of hackers must think again. IT security is one subject every business on the digital space should be concerned about. As long as your business is online, it is exposed and vulnerable to attacks that can confiscate vital information.

Image credit: Techrepublic.com

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