If you’re reading this and use the internet at any time, you likely don’t want your information to fall into the wrong hands. That might be personal information such as passwords or names and addresses, financial details such as credit card numbers or bank accounts. It could even just be business data such as customer lists and other intellectual property such as company secrets and project blueprints.
In 2013 alone, it’s estimated that there were over 700 cyber-attacks on both individuals and businesses – either accessing their network or gaining access to a computer system – which is up from about half that number in 2012 (and we all know how many things like ’12 leaks taught us).
One of the best things to protect yourself is following sound cyber security practices, which isn’t limited to just not clicking on suspicious links or attachments in emails. It requires the use of passwords and other authentication methods.
Protect against cyber attacks
Passwords are probably the most common form of authentication used online these days, with users typically accounting for dozens of different websites ranging from Facebook to Amazon, Gmail to Twitter. However, they’re also by far the weakest link in terms of cyber security, whether you’re an individual user trying to protect your data or a business where company secrets could be at stake.
If your password gets stolen, it can potentially be used on any website you have an account for, allowing hackers access to all sorts of information, including financial details, which is why some businesses that deal with large banking industries require more complex authentication methods.
But passwords aren’t the only form of authentication available, and you might be surprised to learn that there’s a whole range of different, and in many cases much better, alternatives to using text-based passwords when logging onto or authenticating with websites to protect your data.
Take care of device authentication
Biometrics is probably one area that has received the most attention recently given advances in technology and sensors, bringing it within reach for both consumers and businesses. And we see increasing use of these technologies (although still very much in their infancy), from fingerprint scanning on phones helping unlock them by just touching a button to retina scanners being used to authenticate users on corporate networks. Interest from governments is, in part, what’s driving the development of the technology into new areas according to RemoteDBA.com.
But other forms of authentication can be used to protect your data, for example, something you have, such as a physical key fob or dongle which is plugged into your computer, or even something you are which could range from retina scans to voice recognition software. It’s also possible to combine multiple factors, so you might need more than one type of authentication to log on. For example, two-factor authentication has become very popular with services like Gmail, offering it an option when logging onto their platform using a web browser. In this case, your password would be checked first, and then additional information sent over from another device – usually a smartphone – prompting you to enter a verification code to complete the process.
Although it’s possible to use multiple factors with one device, such as a smart card which not only needs your PIN but also requires you to physically tap it against a reader connected to your PC before you can log on, this is starting to become more common as smartphones become the dominant technology in our lives. Some banks have even started going down this route for authentication purposes.
But whichever form of authentication or multi-factor authentication you choose – and there are countless other alternatives available – it’s vital that if they’re adequately implemented, they’re secure and provide a higher level of protection than just text-based passwords alone.
Types of cyber threats
There are so many different cyber threats out there, from ransomware targeting individuals to state-sponsored attacks on businesses, with the most common ones being malware, spam and phishing. Hence, it’s essential to take whatever measures you can to protect your data.
Authentication is just one part of this process. Still, by using enhanced security protocols, services like Last pass can help users stay safe online by storing encrypted passwords in secure vaults, available whenever you need them, while keeping any master password that grants access completely private.
But whether you’re a business or an individual concerned about protecting your data, choosing the proper authentication method will make all the difference when it comes to staying cyber safe, also check best gaming laptop in 1500.
The idea of a supernatural world in parallel to our own, composed of information and data rather than matter and energy, is not new. Many postulates that when we die, our ‘consciousness’ lives on in this other plane. The things that are only accessible through computers are often talked about as if they were another reality entirely. Today cyber security has become vital for governments, businesses and individuals alike in protecting sensitive information against threats from the outside world.
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Though it’s an invisible force with somewhat vague properties, cyber security can be thought of much like its real-world counterpart: people who wish to do harm or steal valuable assets are the criminals/enemies, victims are those whose systems have been infiltrated without their consent or knowledge, and some specialists seek to protect the victims’ systems. Brain-computer interfaces are among the newest technologies that have opened up new avenues for cyber security threats, some of which were previously unimaginable.
Imagine a device that can read your thoughts, and then uses your cognitive pattern as a key to unlock an encrypted file on your computer. This sounds like something out of a movie, but it’s possible with current technology. As people begin using these devices, the possibility of someone stealing information from you becomes very real. Cyber criminals could break into your mind by impersonating someone else in your contacts list or social media feed before sifting through your memories for valuable data. Once they have what they want, they can use it immediately or sell it to others who wish to harm.