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Three IT Security Must Dos to Mitigate Risk in 2017

By Lauren Zdanis | Thursday, January 12th, 2017

As we predicted in our recent article on 2017 technology trends for financial firms, cybersecurity and protection of personal information remain key priorities in the new year. Ensuring that information is secured is becoming infinitely harder as hackers find more ways to access, expose and compromise data. Up-and-coming security scams such as “popcorn time” and “typosquatting” are just some examples of new ways hackers are exposing data. With this in mind, we’ve identified three IT security must dos you should employ in 2017 to protect yourself and your organization.

Enable Multi-factor Authentication.

Ever wonder why sites ask you to create security questions when setting up logins? Multi-factor authentication gives you the extra peace of mind you’ve been looking for by adding an additional layer of security protection that extends beyond your initial password. Security questions are a common multi-factor tool, but authentication factors can also be possession based (mobile device/ATM card) or inherence based (fingerprint). Many, if not most, commons applications and systems provide multi-factor authentication as an option. Here are some quick steps to enabling MFA across apps such as Twitter, Snapchat, etc.

Try a Password Manager.

Do you have a list of passwords sitting around in a less-than-ideal hiding spot? In 2017, that sticky note won’t cut it. Password management systems allow you to store passwords encrypted, requiring the user to create a single master password which gives them access to their entire database. Password managers can protect against phishing as well as keystroke logging. Systems such as LastPass, for example, are designed to give you peace of mind and lessen the chances that hackers get their hands on your personal information. Although some users might be skeptical of using such software, there are many benefits to using password management systems that outweigh the security risks that come with that post-it note under your keyboard.

Consistently Create & Update Complex Passwords.

Creating long and complex passwords plays into keeping your information secure along with changing your passwords regularly. These days, you should either be prompted to – or proactively – update your password every 30-90 days. Although this might seem inconvenient, it is one of the best defense mechanisms against would-be hackers. Remember: it’s important to use different passwords for different sites and a strong combination of letters, numbers and special characters.

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