Fall 2014 Newsletter- Fundamentals of computer security

Home and Business

These network security fundamentals are vital to downtime prevention, government regulation compliance, reduced liability and reputation protection:
Keep patches and updates current.
Cyber criminals exploit vulnerabilities in operating systems, software applications, web browsers and browser plug-ins when administrators are lax about applying patches and updates.
1. Adobe Acrobat and Reader
2. Adobe Flash
3. Oracle Java
4. Microsoft Internet Explorer
5. Microsoft Office Suite
Keep an inventory to make sure each device is updated regularly, including mobile devices and network hardware. And make sure Windows and Apple computers have automatic updating enabled.
Password Security
People have a lot of online accounts. You will possibly forget the majority of your passwords the next day after you have placed them, and have to go through that tedious process of requesting an email notification to change it.
The one thing we shouldn’t do is use the same password over and over. How can we possibly remember which password goes where? Here are a couple of tips:
Use strong passwords.
By now, most users know not to write their passwords on Post-It Notes that are plastered to their monitors. But there’s more to keeping passwords secure than keeping them out of plain sight.
The definition of a strong password is one that’s difficult to detect by humans and computers, is at least 8 characters, preferably more, and uses a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols.
Symantec gives additional suggestions:
• Don’t use any words from the dictionary. Also avoid proper nouns or foreign words.
• Don’t use anything remotely related to your name, nickname, family members or pets.
• Don’t use any numbers someone could guess by looking at your mail like phone numbers and street numbers.
• Choose a phrase that means something to you, take the first letters of each word and convert some into characters.
Recognize social engineering techniques used to trick you into divulging your passwords. Hackers are known to impersonate tech support to get people to give out their passwords. In business environments it’s as easy as looking over users’ shoulders while they type in their passwords.
I hope this helps to keep your network environment secure.