wellness blog

The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically shifted all our lives, with working from home now the ‘new normal’. And, as the boundaries between our professional and personal spaces become more blurred, we are starting to see the impact – both positive and negative – of remote working. Particularly with the most recent lock down taking place with short days and long nights.

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winter wfh cyber risks

As a COVID19 vaccine looms, isn’t it time to immunise your business against winter WFH cyber security risks?

As we face the possibility of a winter of lockdowns across the UK, many office-based workers are faced with WFH until at least spring and as work continues on finding a vaccine for COVID19. But what risks does your business face from cyber security threats?

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Testing times to exercise good cyber health

With millions of employees working from home rather than the office, it is critical that businesses do not lose sight of the risk of hacking and fraud.

The UK's official cybersecurity agency has this week (July 13) launched a tool to practise being cyber attacked for employees currently working from home, some of whom will be using their own personal internet connections and computers.

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shutterstock 449991352

If you are already a user of what has become Microsoft’s fastest-growing app in history, you’ll realise that meeting in Teams is simple and quick, although not always convenient if you’re in a home setting that's verging on disorganised.

So, before you start a Teams meeting, use the blur background function to put you in focus, rather than what’s behind you, be that a child home-schooling at the kitchen table, a stack of laundry ready for ironing, or an interesting choice of reading material on your bookcase.

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When it comes to passwords and internet security, sometimes the simpler solutions are actually the best.

Let’s take a closer look at how to truly safeguard the information you value most.

Choosing your password

We are often told how essential it is to create numerous complex passwords, and that they should be used uniquely across all our internet applications. The logic behind this decision may seem flawed, but it is rooted in real fears.

However, in practice, having too many passwords can be a terrible headache – not to mention a potential security risk. What if you forget your vital passwords? What if you write them down and misplace the note? What if someone else finds your passwords and accesses your accounts?

Memorising your password

Advice for many years has been to simply memorise your passwords instead of storing them. People have been told that storing passwords in any form is inherently a high-risk activity.

While we encourage the use of password managers (alongside recommendations from the National Cybersecurity Centre (NCSC), interest in this tech has remained low. Yet the recommends a refreshed approach to passwords. Would it work for you?

Three random words

NCSC suggests that established thinking around password creation is flawed, because it expects the end-user (us) to memorise numerous lengthy passwords.

Instead of taking this approach, it may make more sense to instead opt for three ‘random’ words – strong enough to work on many different platforms, and to not be guessed by aspiring hackers – but not so obscure that you can’t remember them, either!

The strategy is informed by real-world customer behaviour, making it a little more grounded and practical in scope.

Key areas to consider with this approach include:

  • Length of passwords – this will likely be much longer than single-word passwords.
  • Impact of passwords – the technique needs to be implemented across multiple different platforms to work most efficiently.
  • Novelty of passwords – using three random words can help remove easy guesswork for hackers, making passwords safer and more secure.
  • Usability and user-friendliness – this is a crucial aspect to remember, as it allows for user-error and forgetfulness to be overcome without hindering security protection.

Concerns around three random words

Of course, no password solution is entirely failsafe. There is always the possibility this approach could be seen as weaker than completely randomised password approaches, though the NCSC argues this is not entirely true.

Instead, the randomisation and length of the passwords could in fact be considerably stronger and more targeted than some passwords that are traditionally considered as efficient, but are actually incredibly easy to guess and exploit.

To find out more about the topic, head for the official National Cyber Security Centre website. Get practical help with your cybersecurity by contacting our expert team.