As a sole trader, you are your own boss, but with great power comes great responsibility. One of your most important responsibilities as a business owner is protecting your sensitive data and that of your customers. A strong password is the first line of defence against cyber-attacks and data breaches. In this article, we will discuss the importance of using strong passwords and provide you with tips and real-life examples to help you protect your business.
Why do Strong Passwords Matter?
According to a report by Verizon, 80 % of hacking-related breaches involved the human element, including social attacks, errors, and misuse. Cybercriminals use various methods to crack passwords, such as guessing common passwords, using brute force attacks, or using stolen credentials from data breaches.
The Many Ways Weak Passwords Put You at Risk
One way is through brute force attacks, where a program repeatedly tries different password combinations until it finds the right one. Another way is through phishing scams, where cyber criminals create fake login pages to steal your password.
They can also use keyloggers, programs that track your keystrokes to capture your login information. And if you use the same password for multiple accounts, they can gain access to all of them.
In December 2020, the SolarWinds breach shocked the cybersecurity world. The attackers exploited a vulnerability in the SolarWinds software, giving them access to various networks and systems.
However, one of the ways the attackers managed to get into the SolarWinds system was through a simple yet effective method: guessing an intern’s password, as stated in a news article on CNN.
Tips for Creating Strong Passwords
Here are some tips to help you create strong passwords:
1. Use long passwords: The longer the password, the harder it is to crack. Aim for a minimum of 16 characters. Here you can check how safe your password is.
2. Use a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
An example of a strong password is “Hello K1tty is awesome :)”.
3. Avoid using common words or phrases that can be easily guessed. For example, avoid using your company name, your own name, or your pet’s name. Here you can find the most used password in Finland.
4. Don’t reuse passwords: Using the same password for multiple accounts makes it easier for hackers to gain access to all your accounts if one is compromised.
5, Use a password manager: A password manager can help you securely generate and store strong passwords. And you do not have to remember all your passwords anymore.
More information about how to install and use password managers you can find in our Cybersecurity Guide (only in Finnish)
As a sole trader, you have much to lose if your sensitive data falls into the wrong hands. Using strong passwords is essential in protecting your business from cyber threats. By following the tips outlined in this article and taking advantage of free courses like Kyberturvan ABC Yrittäjille project, you can significantly reduce the risk of a data breach and protect your business from potential financial and reputational damage.
Remember, cybersecurity is not a one-time effort but a continuous process that requires vigilance and a proactive approach. Don’t wait until it’s too late – start acting today to secure your business!
Material to go (in Finnish):
– Hyväksy kaikki evästeet – podcast on Youtube
– Älypuhelimen turvallinen käyttö – webinar
– Ulos Somekuplista! – webinar
Kyberturvan ABC yrittäjille project is funded by Häme Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment from European Social Fund.