New Year is a moment when many of us set ourselves a series of resolutions to try to improve some part of our lives. And one resolution that should be on everyone’s list is an improvement in cybersecurity habits. With this in mind, we’re sharing these 10 tips for online security that will help you to protect your digital life, as well as that of your company.
In our PandaLabs Annual Report 2018, we compiled many cases where cybersecurity went wrong. And the fact is that many of these incidents — and the serious consequences they entailed — could have been avoided by following some basic security tips.
Good practices for 2019
- One good habit to bear in mind is the use of firewalls to block unwanted access to our devices. In many cases, this solution is the first line of defense against cyberattacks. The most dramatic example of what can happen if we do away with firewalls is the case of Exactis. This US data broker left around 350 million records exposed in June last year. Anyone could have accessed details about hundreds of millions of US citizens. The cause? A lack of firewalls to protect this information.
- Multifactor authentication. This method of confirming a user’s identity when logging in adds another layer of protection by asking for a code received on a mobile phone or on a computer. It means that, even if someone gets their hands on our password, accessing our account is more complicated. In July last year, the app Timehop gave us an example of what can happen if we don’t use multifactor authentication: the company blamed a data breach that affected 21 million users on a lack of multifactor authentication on a cloud account.
- Updating operating systems and installing patches helps to minimize the threats of malware and vulnerabilities. This is especially important if we consider one of the predictions found in our PandaLabs Report: in 2019, new catastrophic vulnerabilities will be discovered, similar to Meltdown and Spectre, which were discovered at the start of last year. Installing all necessary updates and patches is the only way to protect yourself against the vulnerabilities that may threaten corporate cybersecurity, and thus reduce the attack surface.
- It is very important to be selective when it comes to sharing personal information on the Internet. This information could be used to guess passwords and logins. Discretion is particularly relevant for another of our predictions for 2019. The massive analysis of data, through readily available Big Data tools, allows detailed profiles of personal preferences and trends in many areas to be extracted. Personal information spread over different social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), correctly analyzed and correlated, can allow the development of highly sophisticated and personalized social engineering attacks with malicious intentions.
Discover the 10 corporate cybersecurity resolutions for 2019 in our infographic, and stay protected this year.