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BCN & Cyber Security Awareness Month

Posted on 28th September 2023

Stay Secure by Staying Aware

This October, Cyber Security Awareness Month is celebrating its 20th year. Back in 2003, few experts could have predicted the scale and speed that all of our lives would be shaped by the use of digital technology and data. Part of the overriding theme this year is encouraging us to take a moment and recognise how complex the area of cyber security has become and how security education has had to adapt and evolve alongside it.

At BCN, our company, our services and our people have developed and grown in tandem with this commercial and cultural phenomenon. Now, as Microsoft Solutions Partner for Security, a huge part of the work we do is to ensure that our partners’ infrastructure is consistently secure, and their people are empowered with the latest information to help us keep it that way. We understand that keeping your organisation safe in a digital and data driven world is a challenge, but with our expert knowledge and experience by your side, it is achievable. 

The Four Pillars of Cyber Security in 2023

In recognition of 20 years of Cyber Security Awareness Month, we wanted to bring you some hints and tips for Cyber Security. This is built around the four key areas that underpin this year’s theme and that every organisation and their team members should be constantly aware of. Remembering these four pillars whenever you engage and interact with digital platforms for work, or your personal life, will go a long way to doing all you can to stay safe from cyber threats.


1. Novel Ideas for Perfect Passwords

You would be surprised how many times our support desk team still encounters a slightly embarrassed user telling us that their password is ‘password’ when we encounter an issue. However, we aren’t here to judge, we’re here to help!

Your passwords are the first line of defence against the barrage of threats and attacks that are lurking in the background trying to access your data. In recent times, there has been a change in cyber security recommendations for password resilience. It used to be that you were told to change passwords every few months to stay on top. However, this led to the risk of reusing old ones, sharing them across multiple platforms or simply using weak passwords due to having to create them so frequently.

We like to think a good password should be like all of those classic old novels that you promised yourself you would read one day – long, complicated, and unique. Keeping these three things in mind for all your passwords will give you an excellent chance of keeping your password for a long time while keeping those nasty cyber criminals locked out of all your personal and organisational data. Try combining unusual longer words with some special symbols and numbers, and make sure to always avoid any personal names, places or associations that could be gleaned from other public facing online accounts too.

Take a look through more BCN password tips here. 


2. MFA is a Must Have

Multi-factor authentication is an essential tool that you must use to protect all of your accounts where available and appropriate. Adding this effectively gives passwords another layer of security that verifies your identity to prove it’s genuinely you looking to access your accounts. As an additional cyber security measure, the brief moment this will take during your working day brings a huge advantage in the overall security posture of your vital business and personal data.

There are a number of possible ways to implement multi-factor authentication depending on the device or platform/software you intend to use. The rise of facial recognition personal mobile devices is perhaps the greatest example of how this can work. It may also be through a one-time security pin code sent to text messages or an agreed additional security question that has to be answered upon sign in.

Multiplying your sign in procedures may seem like a little additional work at first, but it very quickly becomes ingrained into your procedures and processes throughout your organisation. The BCN team is always on hand to talk you through your MFA options for the tools and platforms you currently use and will happily extend that knowledge companywide. Always remember that multiplying your protection also multiplies the strength of your defences against cyber criminals and every layer you can add is a worthwhile step.


3. Cautious Clicks Keep Phishing at Bay

Your inbox is under relentless attack from cyber security threats all day, every day. Filters and processes will be hard at work making sure the majority of these don’t ever get through to you but due to the increasingly sophisticated nature of phishing emails you will inevitably see some of them from time to time. The key here is always staying vigilant with what to look out for and employing the right way of reporting them for your company.

Making sure an email is legitimate could mean simply taking the time to read it. Just five extra seconds will allow you to check the email address is correct for the company it claims to be coming from and scan the text for any poorly written grammar or generic greetings that seem out of place from the supposed sender. If the content is threatening or contains any strange requests, that should immediately set alarm bells ringing too. If there are links to click, then it’s definitely time to pause and speak with our team here at BCN who will guide you through the best course of action. Security Awareness Training across your entire organisation is an absolute must. 

The same process of brief investigation should also apply for your personal emails. If you feel slightly suspicious, then always remember to delete not delay!  

Read more on phishing attacks and how to prevent them or the outlandish phishing techniques that are being used.


4. Software Updates are Sensible

Staying up to date with the latest information, tools and processes is one of the simplest ways to make technology work as effectively for you as possible. The changes and improvements that software manufacturers make to their products are often in response to identified vulnerabilities or security inefficiencies that have emerged as it’s employed in the real world.

The process of updating software may seem daunting though, especially as we are all, hopefully, now being so much more vigilant in our IT and device housekeeping. The BCN team can assist you by making sure updates for your software are taken care of automatically, so you don’t even have to think about it. Where this isn’t possible, we can keep you updated with all the information you need to make the switch to the latest version in the simplest, smartest and quickest way.  We pride ourselves on the highest levels of engaging customer service so don’t ever be afraid to ask for help, advice or anything in between, that you need.

Keeping on top of these updates brings additional benefits too as they are often delivered alongside new features that may add value to the way your organisation works. As your trusted partner we’ll always be looking ahead for these so you can stay secure and future proofed at all times.

Connect with BCN

Cyber Security Awareness Month is an opportunity for us to show how our services and products connect your own organisation to technology topics and issues in the wider world. We have a library of useful and valuable content that we can share with you. 

Our dedicated team is always ready to help you with any, and all, cyber security issues.

Contact us today to talk through any concerns or arrange an assessment of your current security posture to see where we can improve it and bring greater peace of mind.

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