January 17, 2017
Centrify tips to beef up security muscle for 2017
New Year resolutions should focus on tightening up cybersecurity rather than muscles or calorie counts warns Niall King
of Centrify, the leader in securing enterprise identities against cyberthreats.
Mr King, Centrify’s Senior Director APAC Sales, said 2016 had seen record levels of cyber breaches and data disruption
around the world, including massive breaches of user data at Yahoo!
In February, a cyber-attack on Bangladesh’s central Bank caused $81 million in losses and prevented the processing of
another $850 million in transactions. In October, adult website company Friend Finder Network Inc. was hacked, exposing
more than 400 million accounts containing 20 years of customer data.
Last month, Yahoo! disclosed thieves had stolen data about more than a billion of its user accounts - after in September
revealing a separate breach that affected 500 million accounts.
Although investigations continue, industry observers believe compromised credentials - involving stolen or hacked
passwords - played a part in these data breaches, along with many more globally.
Mr King said information security had taken a battering during the past 12 months. “So, rather than shedding kilos and
jogging daily, our resolutions for 2017 should focus on getting our security house in order, especially around that
still all-important password,” he said.
To assist, Centrify, a global company whose systems protect some of the world’s most successful businesses, has come up
with five simple steps to make your online life more secure.
Toughen up your passwords: This is Security 101, but if a password is simple to remember, it’s simple to hack. Create
complex and unique passwords and store them in a secure password vault to reduce the risk of a too-easy password-based
Use Multi-Factor Authentication when available: Increasingly, financial and other sites require a second form of
identification to your password - such as a confirmation code sent to your mobile device: Use these when offered because
they present an extra security wall against hackers.
Make sure your security questions are secure: Some sites offer a password retrieval system based on answers to personal
questions. Make sure these answers cannot be found online e.g. your first school’s name or your mother’s maiden name.
Change default passwords on your devices: While obvious, this simple security measure is still ignored by many people.
Factory default passwords - e.g. user ID admin and password admin - are the first thing hackers try when they seek
remote access to devices such as broadband routers.
Don’t click on links from unknown or forwarded emails: Bogus messages have existed since faxes from Nigeria offered to
make their recipients rich, so treat all emailed links with scepticism unless they come from an impeccably trustworthy
Mr King said these steps were simple measures to improve your online security and reduce the risk of a malicious hacker
or accidental data breach making a terrible start for your New Year.