As we hurtle through our lives we interact and engage with increasingly more digital applications and services. Digital platforms and services create so much data that Artificial Intelligence tools are necessary to automate management because it is impossible to do so manually. Real concern is raised when the platforms that contain this data are becoming more readily available and accessible to both legitimate and illegitimate users. So, while we enjoy the convenience of digital services, we need to realise that this ease of access also applies to malicious actors and that there is a price to pay for this convenience. We must all become acutely aware of our individual responsibility to be cyber-aware in the digital world.
Over the years we have become comfortable with symbolic representations of security like the small padlock link in the address box of your browser. Whilst this reassurance is welcomed, we need to be aware that vulnerabilities and exploits are continuously being found within the platforms that were once considered secure and safe. Complacency should be replaced with diligence when it comes to security. People and businesses are placing larger amounts of data and services into the cloud on the assumption that it is secure, when it may not be. There is absolutely no room for complacency and everyone should become aware of their responsibilities to mitigate the risks of malicious use of our data and services. Whilst the cyber-security industry is complex and requires very specific skill sets, there are steps that we can all take that don’t require us to be cyber-security experts.
You can play your part and Aliva recommends the following tasks you can do:
- Create strong and unique passwords for all online services.
- Enable Multi Factor Authentication where possible.
- Keep your computer and software up to date. Delete software that you no longer need.
- Enable unlock security on your mobile phone.
- Know where your data is and always keep a backup of any critical data.
- Learn to spot a phishing scam email and don’t assume an email has been sent from a legitimate source. If you become suspicious, use an alternate communication method to confirm an email as authentic, like a published phone number, but not from the website that may be linked in the suspicious email.
- Leverage online resources to provide education on the risks.
- Subscribe to the Stay Smart Online alert service to receive updates on known threats and scams
This list provides a starting point on your journey to take personal responsibility and become cyber-aware and by doing this we could all raise the standards of end user cyber-security. Cyber-criminals continuously exploit vulnerabilities in digital systems and people using them. By becoming cyber-aware we can reduce the number of vulnerabilities and make progress in reducing the impact of cyber-crime for all of us.
Stay smart, so you can stay safe online.
By Marc Beath – Solutions Architect