Comms-care Blog

Back to Basics – The Key Daily Practices We Should All Employ to Help Keep Systems Secure

by Comms-care

January 17, 2018

This year cybersecurity has been thrown into the spotlight. Whether you are in the IT industry or not, chances are you will remember the infamous global WannaCry ransomware attack that affected over 200,000 companies across more than 150 countries in May. One high profile target, the NHS, fell victim due largely to its reliance on out-of-date and unsupported operating systems. Updating your software may sound like basic advice but this breach proved it isn’t always fully taken on board. With that in mind, we compiled the IT security ‘basics’ that we as individuals, in both our professional and personal lives, need to do to help keep systems secure:

Use strong passwords

Enforcing regular changes to passwords may be a minor irritation when it comes to remembering all the different combinations, but by doing so and ensuring they contain a compulsory range of symbols (lowercase, uppercase, symbol and numbers) you are ensuring you have an initial strong level of security, at one of the first human points of access to a systems.

Don’t click untrusted links

We are bombarded by hundreds of emails a day and convincing phishing emails are becoming increasingly commonplace. Always evaluate the sender’s email address to ensure it is a genuine domain; frequently malicious email addresses will contain an inconspicuous spelling mistake (think @paypal.com, NOT @pyapal.com). Quite simply, if you are not entirely confident of a hyperlink’s authenticity within an email, do not click it. Instead, seek advice from the ‘sender’ by contacting them directly through the information provided on their website.

Take care when using insecure networks

Wi-Fi is available in most locations now and when mobile signal is poor it’s very tempting to join a network in order to access the internet. However, the security of an unknown network could be non-existent, so be cautious if you are going to transfer any sensitive information such as your online banking password.

Don’t plug untrusted devices into networks

Connecting an unknowingly-compromised device to your system is an easy way for any malicious software to infect a whole network. If you cannot be confident of the history, don’t risk it.

Don’t leave computers unlocked

Finally, one of the easiest things to do to keep systems secure is to always lock your computer when moving away from your workstation, blocking any human intervention with malicious intent. Configuring devices to automatically lock after a short period of inactivity is also strongly recommended.

When you are part of the IT industry it’s easy to take for granted some of this advice, disregarding it as ‘common sense’ but it’s vital to remember that these basics add an extra layer of security, minimising the risk of human intervention compromising your system.

For further expert advice on keeping your IT systems secure, contact Comms-care which offers professional enterprise security services. Our dedicated team of security specialists has multi-vendor and multi-technology expertise and can assist channel partners across a broad spectrum of network security areas. To find out more click here or call us today on +44(0) 8702 644 303.