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The secret of cybersecurity is in people

"A chain is only as strong as its weakest link" is the quote that better ilustrates the secret to cybersecurity. Every collaborator of your company should know, and more importantly understand, the processes and techiniques to protect your company from cyber threats.

Tomás Jacob
Jun 29 • 3 min reading
The secret of cybersecurity is in people
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The last few months brought a new reality to many companies across Portugal and around the world. The covid-19 forced reinvention of business models and work practices decentralized offices and workers. Specially in the field of technology and web, many companies were able to transition smoothly.

Although it may sound easy, sending workers and computers exposed plenty of unexpected hardships. Connectivity issues and systems overload were a constant over the first few weeks of confinement. There were plenty of blog pieces written about this topic, but it is important to remember them as we progress in our gradual return to the offices. The timing might be ideal to review and adjust digital security procedures, both in the main office and across the remote offices.

"A chain is only as strong as its weakest link" is the quote that defines the current problem with cybersecurity. A company may employ dozens of security experts and purchase high end encryption hardware, but if all passwords are 12345678 all this money is going to waste. Cybersecurity is about educating ALL employees about its importance.

So, what can we do to improve the security and safety of our digital office? I will leave you with some simple suggestions, in no particular order.

Password Managers
Right now, passwords are the biggest target of phishing attacks. Using a practical example: if we hand out our home key to ten people it becomes easier to steal one of said keys instead of breaking the door. And what if we use the same key to our home and office? This can become a huge problem very fast if we lose our key. The solutions is to use different keys for each online service we use regularly. Password Managers allow us to save all these different passwords safely and access them using a single password. KeePassXC is a free and open-source option, but paid services such as LastPass or 1password are reliable and safe.

Backups, Backups, Backups
Here repetition is key. The more the merrier. Ransomware attacks may turn information and computers into hostages of the attacker, forcing you to pay a large sum of money to recover them. But if your backups are in order, you can restore the information with minimal damage. Even if some time is necessary to recover everything, you will save you a lot of headaches.

Do not open links from unknown sources
While this tip may seem obvious, the truth is that attackers no longer pose as some nigerian prince trying to force you into transferring some money, promising you fortunes. Nowadays, phishing attacks pose as legitimate emails from transport companies, banks and other services. These emails look equal to the official ones and can fool many unaware users. You should always check the source of the email and confirm it as legitimate. Either way, avoid opening links unless you trust the source.

Following and implementing these simple tips can protect you from the most common digital attacks at a low cost. But the most important part is to apply these to every single employee on your company. Stay safe from both the “real” viruses and the digital viruses.

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