If anything in the cybersecurity industry can be called an epidemic, it has to be bad password habits. It’s a serious problem, and one that has been poorly addressed. People are using poorly designed passwords, and they’re using them for a multitude of online profiles, meaning that if their login is cracked once, it’s cracked everywhere.
Encryption and Hashing
For reasons that are hard to fathom, many businesses are still keeping sensitive information stored in cleartext. Everything from customer information to login passwords are left vulnerable and unguarded, just waiting for someone to guess the manager’s “justinbieber4eva” password and gain root privileges.
This is a basic practice that so many have neglected; hash what you can, encrypt everything else. Even in smaller businesses that don’t always have access to the same level of cyber talent, it’s not that hard to get in touch with experts who can help with that sort of thing.
HTTPS came out in all the way back in 2000. Nearly 20 years later, and data transfer protocols are still a serious issue. The sooner each business gets on the bandwagon and hosts their whole website over HTTPS, the sooner we can migrate the majority of the internet to more secure protocols.
The reason it’s important to host the whole website on HTTPS is that leaving portions of the site unencrypted leaves a backdoor access to more sensitive areas for hackers. We’re past the point where just encrypting the page where you enter credit card information is good enough. If you have an online presence, it should be hosted on HTTPS. What’s more, keeping keys and certificates in order is also important. The whole system is essentially useless if unscrupulous individuals gain access to valid certificates.
The uninitiated think software updates are annoying. The rest of us, though, are well aware that, in many cases, the updates are all that stand between you and the hacker. If you’re one of the enlightened, be sure you’re spreading the word at your company, so that those with administrator privileges are keeping things up-to-date.