A secure mindset is the only mindset to have online

Over the last few months I have learnt that cyber security is not only about locking a computer screen or changing a password, it’s about so much more.

It is about being mindful and understanding the power that the hyper connected world has on our daily lives, how we are affected by it and how we can make sure we are staying cyber safe at all times.

Practicing a more secure approach whenever you go online, is the only way you can curb breaches and help yourself become less of a target. This way of thinking may not be a priority and that could be the reason you are vulnerable to breaches or still getting breached.

If you wouldn’t give that information to a stranger, it shouldn’t be put on a public forum.

Any of your personal information such as email addresses, cell phone numbers and the name of your work place must be set to private. The safest would be to not have this type of data on social media at all. Cyber criminals can use this personal information to facilitate a larger scale attack.

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Baby Boomers are a hacker’s favourite generation

In the 21st century it seems virtually impossible to imagine a world without technology. With houses even becoming enhanced with digital features, technology is ingrained in our daily lives. But what about those of you who grew up in a time where computers were a futuristic idea? How are you supposed to suddenly be tech savvy?

I asked one of my older relatives why he gets hacked so often, his response was “I was born in a time when there was none of this technology, so it is not my fault if I am hacked” this may be true, but it definitely is not the right mindset to have.

Whether you like it or not, you are needing to use technology to function and this means that you are having to give out private information that if not kept safe, will be compromised.

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Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month. After starting in the USA we are seeing growth in the acceptance of a month of security across Africa. This really got me thinking about what it entails to have a month dedicated to cyber security.

 As with any “awareness month” campaign, it is to bring cyber security to the forefront of your conversations and get you thinking about all things cyber safety, it’s about wanting to learn more about it and seeing where you or your organisation can set a good example, implement more practical cyber security protocols and take a moment to think of how different your environment is since partnering with cyber security professionals and how you could work together to beat the evolving cyber-attacks and breaches that occur.

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Return to sender

Spam emails have been plaguing mailboxes for years, sometimes missing the junk folder and landing smack bang in the middle of one’s inbox. Cyber criminals use email as their main line of attack, due to it being such a vital part of an organisations’ inner workings.

As mentioned before, the statistics show that around 90% of phishing scams start with email and of those 90%, the most dangerous are the ones so sophisticated that they seem legitimate and may even pass through the filters. Some attackers don’t just send out blanket spam mails, some of these scams are targeted towards specific people within the organisation such as executives and members of the sales team.

The attacker even goes as far as to send the targeted email on a specific day such as payday or at month end so that it would be more believable. This is referred to as a spear-phishing attack. When an attack is targeted and believable there is a higher chance of success. This makes them dangerous. Having inline inspection and continually training your team on what to look for, you can avoid a costly mistake.

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We’re only human after all, and well, that’s kind of the problem

Human error, according to Mimecast, is the cause of 95% of all security breaches. Whether it is laziness, lack of knowledge, workload, awareness or negligence. Exploiting standard human behaviours is what cyber criminals depend on and often it is how they infiltrate the most secure systems.

When someone uses the term “Human Error” it refers to the breach being caused by, you guessed it, a human! There are many ways in which you as the employee can infect your organisation without even realising that’s what you are doing until it is too late. Intentional and unintentional breaches often start and end between the chair and keyboard.

Something which may seem like a little thing can cause major damage; so let’s look at a few real-life examples.

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