The world is facing an uphill battle amid the global pandemic that has forced small and medium businesses to adopt diverse digital sales channels.
Since these businesses collect consumer data, which is swiftly accumulating, there’s a significant concern regarding the overall security.
Talking about the stats, WHO reported 450 active official email addresses and passwords were leaked online along with thousands of other credentials – all linked with people working to lessen the COVID-19 impact.
The more alarming thing is the fact that cybercriminals are continuously exploiting consumer data and have accelerated outbreaks by taking advantage of the chaotic time and the weaker first line of defense as businesses move to remote working ecosystems.
So does it mean that businesses collecting consumer identities are now at more significant risk, especially those who have recently stepped into the digital commerce space?
Yes, undoubtedly! Enterprises that are collecting, managing, and storing consumer identities in any form need to put their best foot forward in protecting sensitive consumer information, which, if not done at the earliest, may lead to undesirable consequences.
Whether it’s the media industry or the education industry, every industry is at a considerable risk of a security breach.
In this post, we’ve outlined the aspects that can mitigate the risk during the uncertain times of COVID-19 and can help secure your business in a post-pandemic world.
1. Creating a Strong Password Policy to Secure Remote Operation
Since remote working accounted for 20% of cybersecurity incidents during the pandemic, securing the newly-adopted remote working ecosystem should be the #1 priority of businesses.
To protect your organization's network, enforce a firm password security policy with the following practices:
- Long passwords: The minimum length should be 15 characters, more if possible.
- Mix characters: The password should be a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. The more complex your password is, the harder it will be for brute-force attackers.
- Do not allow dictionary words: Do not use everyday dictionary words or even a combination of words. For example, "chocolate" is a bad password, so is "dark chocolate". Go for a passphrase instead. They are a string of related words with no sentence structure. Here is an example: hotdog food ketchup relish mustard mayo.
- Don’t use memorable keyboard paths: Do not use sequential keyboard paths like qwerty, a1s2d3f4, or asdfgh.
- Change passwords regularly: Change passwords at a regular interval. It can be once every month or twice a month.
- Use a password manager: Password managers can auto-generate and store strong passwords on your behalf. They save your passwords in an encrypted, centralized location and allow you to access them with a master password.
2. Embrace Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to Prevent Unauthorized Access
Cybercriminals are already bypassing weak lines of defense, which means a stringent action plan must be in place to
When it comes to preventing unauthorized access to resources and sensitive information within a network, MFA can be the game-changer.
For the most secure user sign-ins, you should combine elements like biometrics, SMS/text messages, emails, and security questions. Use extra layers of protection, like text verification, email verification, or time-based security codes.
LoginRadius’ CIAM (consumer identity and access management) solution provides multiple layers of security to ensure consumer data and enterprise information remain highly secure.
3. Cyber Awareness Training to Avoid Human Error
Most cyber criminals try to sneak into a network by targeting employees through several attacks, including phishing, social engineering, and malware attacks.
Suppose the employees of an organization aren’t aware of the latest attacks and how they can enhance their security while working. In that case, it may lead to a security breach causing millions of dollars of losses to the organization.
Businesses must minimize human error as most of the attacks are successful just because of human error.
Frequent cyber awareness training sessions must be organized within the enterprise to ensure that employees are aware of phishing emails and social engineering attacks and can handle these issues at their end.
4. Unleash the Potential of Risk-Based Authentication (RBA)
Risk-based authentication is perhaps the best weapon against unauthorized access and to enhance network security.
RBA is a mechanism that automatically adds another stringent layer of authentication whenever the system detects any unusual login attempt or an attempt that seems fishy.
For instance, if a user tries to log in from his/her town and in a few minutes, a similar login request is made from another country (even if the login credentials are the same), the user would need to prove identity through another authentication process. An alert regarding the same would also be sent to the admin.
5. Data Encryption- The Need of the Hour
To ensure data security on mobile devices and build trustworthiness, encryption must be in place. In this process, data is encoded to be inaccessible to unauthorized users and helps to protect sensitive data and private information.
Encryption can also improve the security of communication between servers and client apps.
Although encryption is basic, it's an essential aspect of data security. Organizations must do all that they can to protect their customer's information online as well as their own. Hence, it's becoming more and more common for technology encryption to be activated on apps and websites.
With the rising number of identity thefts and security breaches amid the global pandemic, enterprises that haven’t yet deployed a consumer identity and access management solution should immediately put their best foot forward to reinforce their security mechanism.
LoginRadius can be the most acceptable alternative for both the enterprises and startups that are collecting customer data and need to ensure a secure ecosystem without hampering the overall user experience.