With many businesses now encouraging BYOD and remote working, the issue of online security is now more important than ever before. Although passwords were once the best way to protect internet users, they have now become only a small part in identity security as fraud and data theft continue to become daily occurrences. Here are five tips that can help ensure employers protect their sensitive data and individual users:
1. Use two-factor authentication (2FA): 2FA is increasingly becoming the standard to verify your identity – so much so that the European Banking Authority requires Payment Service Providers to carry out strong customer authentication before proceeding with an online payment. Dozens of popular services offer 2FA, so make sure those in your finance department opt-in for these, especially when handling sensitive transactions.
2. Choose strong passwords: When your employees choose passwords, make sure they are hard to guess by instructing them to use a wide variety of different characters, letters, numbers and symbols. Employees should also avoid using information such as important dates or pet names as hackers can find this information via online profiles.
3. Take care when logging in on third-party devices: Using someone else’s computer is common in today’s working environment. If your employees must use someone else’s computer or work from an internet café, it is important that they log out and deselect any “remember my password” options for all accounts.
4. Use protected devices: Ensure that company devices have appropriate protection. Tablets, smartphones, laptops and PCs all have anti-virus software, often free, that can protect users while they browse the internet and prevent malware from infecting their devices and accessing personal data.
5. Biometrics are not as secure as you’d think: Hackers can replicate fingerprints and visual scans much easier than you think. A prime example is when the German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen had her fingerprints copied from smudges on windows and other surfaces. Don’t rely on biometrics alone – a combination with verification actions is always best.