WHAT IS CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS MONTH?
Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which kicked off back in 2004 and happens every October, is a global endeavour dedicated to fostering awareness and advocating for best cybersecurity practices. This initiative thrives on collaboration, uniting businesses, government entities, educational institutions, associations, nonprofit organizations, and individuals who share a commitment to enlightening others about online safety.
CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS MONTH – THE MISSION
From our smartphones to the gadgets in our connected homes, technology is deeply ingrained in our daily lives. But as technology advances, so do the efforts of cybercriminals who seek to exploit it and disrupt both personal and business aspects of life. Cybersecurity Awareness Month’s mission is to shed light on the ever-evolving challenges within the cybersecurity landscape and offer practical, easy-to-follow guidance that empowers everyone to build a safe and secure digital environment for themselves and their loved ones.
CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS MONTH – THE THEME
- Understanding the benefits of using a password manager and dispelling existing myths around password manager security and ease of use.
- Enabling multifactor authentication (MFA) for both personal devices and business networks.
- Identifying and promptly reporting phishing attempts, a prevalent tactic employed by cybercriminals.
- Keeping systems up to date by regularly installing updates and enabling automated updates where available.
“Everyone deserves a safe and secure digital ecosystem for commerce and speech. Using strong passwords with password managers, turning on multi-factor authentication, learning how to recognize phishing and keeping software up to date with the latest security patches are accessible ways for each of us to reduce the risk of cybercrime.”
This week, we are going to check out password managers and their benefits.
SECURITY OR INSECURITY?
While some individuals find it challenging to recall passwords, others exert considerable effort to fortify them. Nevertheless, passwords are an essential requirement for anyone who possesses a computer or smart device. Despite being the most fundamental component of IT security, these brief combinations of characters serve as the primary defence for safeguarding your data should it fall into the wrong hands. With the proliferation of companies implementing username and login requirements to secure their platforms, the task of devising and memorizing robust passwords for numerous accounts has become increasingly daunting. Alarmingly, research has indicated that many individuals, particularly those under the age of 34, have grown lax in their password practices. Worse still, nearly 35% of users employ the same password across the majority of their online accounts. This is where password managers come into play.
WHAT ARE PASSWORD MANAGERS?
We often hear that our online account passwords should be robust, and it’s crucial not to use the same password across multiple platforms, especially for critical accounts such as email, banking, online shopping, and social media. However, the challenge arises because most of us have numerous online accounts, making it difficult to generate and recall distinct passwords for each one. This is where a password manager comes in handy. A password manager, or even your web browser, can securely store all your passwords, relieving you of the burden of memorizing them all. This enables you to employ unique and strong passwords for each of your essential accounts, a practice far safer than using the same password for multiple accounts, which is strongly discouraged.
THE BENEFITS OF PASSWORD MANAGERS
While passwords may appear to be a simple security measure, maintaining secure, regularly refreshed passwords remains a potent means of safeguarding your data. Utilizing password managers represents the optimal approach to creating strong passwords, thereby shielding both you and your organization from potential reputational harm and financial losses. Here are some of the main benefits of using a password manager:
- All your passwords are securely stored within a single account, accessible via a master password.
- Password managers are equipped to generate random, highly robust passwords for each of your accounts, significantly enhancing their resistance to unauthorized access compared to passwords you might devise yourself.
- After enrolling in a password manager service, you can easily integrate a browser extension that automates login entries while maintaining stringent security measures.
- If a website where you hold an account is hacked, you can protect yourself by utilizing the password manager’s built-in password generator to create a fresh, resilient password.
- Password managers facilitate the convenient sharing of access to joint accounts with family members or colleagues, streamlining collaborative security management.
- Besides passwords, you can securely store a wealth of other information, including answers to security questions, shopping profiles, memberships, and even medical prescriptions.
- You have the flexibility to employ the same password manager seamlessly across multiple devices, including your smartphone, ensuring consistent and efficient password management throughout your digital landscape.
ARE PASSWORD MANAGERS SECURE?
All password managers rely on encryption techniques to safeguard your information. Each encryption method takes a unique approach to achieving the same objective: using mathematical processes to jumble and unjumble data in such a way that only individuals possessing a special key – the master password – can decipher it. The crucial thing to understand about encryption is that it offers a secure means of recording all your passwords, ensuring that only you can access them. Without the key, it would take an impossibly long time, equivalent to trillions of years using every computer on Earth, for someone to decode the information.
Password managers typically employ a zero-knowledge architecture, meaning that the provider of your password manager has no access to the data stored in your vault. When you create your master password or input information into your vault, it undergoes encryption directly on your device before being transmitted to the password manager’s server. Even if the server hosting your vault were to be compromised, hackers would remain unable to decipher the data, ensuring its protection.
ARE PASSWORD MANAGERS EASY TO USE?
Most password managers offer user-friendly experiences. As we said, they not only save you valuable time but also alleviate the burden of remembering numerous passwords. With a password manager, you only need to commit one master password to memory, and it grants you access to all your stored passwords. Browser-based password managers, which are typically free and integrated directly into your web browser, offer unparalleled convenience. Since most password and payment entries occur within a browser, these managers automatically populate the required fields for you. This means you can skip the hassle of opening a separate application, inputting credentials, including any 2FA codes, and then searching for, copying, and pasting login details into the appropriate fields. But browser-based password managers have their downsides. They do not provide straightforward access to passwords stored in one browser’s manager when you switch to another. For instance, if you primarily use Chrome, you won’t be able to access your passwords in Firefox.
CRUSH YOUR RISK
Zhero’s Protect IT Better solution has been carefully crafted and developed to proactively nurture and build a sustainable cybersecurity environment giving your business a competitive advantage. Our advanced technology-as-a-service innovations include effective password management and MFA to keep your precious data safely under lock and key. Moreover, Protect IT Better uses holistic monitoring and reporting to ensure that you are always protected against all cyberattacks. Do you want to crush your IT risk? Of course, you do. Contact Zhero today and we’ll show you how to do it.