Keep you charity systems secure with these 5 products
Antivirus software alone can’t keep you safe from all cyber security threats. A multi-layered approach using these cyber security products - in addition to antivirus software - provides more effective protection.
Endpoint security products, which include anti-virus software, provide a good basic level of cyber security. That’s why all charity workers’ computers should be protected with a product like Avast Business Antivirus, Bitdefender GravityZone Business Security or Norton LifeLock.
But no endpoint protection product by itself can guarantee 100% protection against cyber criminals. Here are five cyber security products and services which you can use to ratchet up your cyber security significantly and make life much harder for hackers:
Whenever a vulnerability is discovered in a piece of software, cyber criminals attempt to exploit it to hack in to any computers they find running the software. The software is usually updated by the software’s authors shortly afterwards to remove the vulnerability and make the software safe to run again.
That means that hackers can only exploit the vulnerability until the software is updated, and that’s why it is so important to update any software running on your computers as promptly as possible.
In practice it is easy to overlook software updates, but a software updater program can do the job for you. It does this by scanning your computer to build an inventory of the software you are have installed, and then checking for updates and installing them automatically.
Ransomware can slip undetected onto your computer, where it silently goes about encrypting valuable data without you knowing it. Suddenly you will be unable to access your data, and a message will pop up on you screen demanding a ransom in return for the key needed to decrypt the data.
Many endpoint protection products include some degree of anti-ransomware protection, but standalone ransomware protection products can offer a valuable extra level of protection both in terms of preventing ransomware attacks and also retrieving data after an attack has happened.
Since ransomware attacks (as well as phishing attacks) are often initiated by getting users to click links in malicious emails, a more general way to protect against these threats is to us a strong anti-spam program such as Mailshell Anti-Spam Desktop to filter out these malicious emails before they end up in an inbox. Mailshell is available free for charities through the Charity Digital Exchange
With many charity staff working from home these days and accessing applications remotely or in the cloud, controlling access to these applications is a huge security problem. That’s because a hacker who manages to get hold of the password for an account can then access it and steal data.
One way to mitigate this risk is to use a single sign on system such as Okta. This allows users to sign in to many different services (such as Office 365, Zoom, or Trello) using a single password, while Okta works behind the scenes to ensure that these accounts are kept secure. The system can also add two factor authentication (2FA) to make the login process even more secure. Okta is available free for charities with up to 25 users, charities can be validated for this offer through the Charity Digital Exchange.
Password managers provide a lighter weight alternative to a system like Okta. A good password manager works in three ways: it stores passwords securely so they don’t need to be written down, it makes it easy to use long strong passwords and to change them whenever necessary, and it also provides a good level of protection against some types of phishing attacks.
If you use a public WiFi network, for example in a coffee shop or on a train, then there is a chance that the internet connection could have been compromised by hackers. They might then be able to snoop on your data or redirect you to bogus phishing sites when you type in the address of a genuine site.
Online banking and some other websites encrypt data going to and from them automatically, but VPN software can boost your cyber security by encrypting all the data going to and from your computer. This ensures that a hacker snooping on the public WiFi network will not be able to steal any vital information from you, and that your data is encrypted even if you have been directed to a fake phishing site.
If you don’t know that hackers have successfully compromised your computer systems then you can’t investigate how it happened, minimise the harm done, and take steps to prevent it happening again. To find out if any of your accounts are known to have been hacked, try one of these two services:
You can also use a service such as Skurio which monitors the Dark Web and other online locations that hackers frequent. It then provides alerts if your usernames and passwords, or data which includes your IP addresses, brand names or other relevant information, is offered for sale by hackers. Skurio offers free and low cost versions of its services to charities via Charity Digital.