Gone Phishing

As the long weekend approaches in Canada, many people will be at the lakes for a spot of fishing, but in technology terms the word Phishing means something very different.

Phishing Definition

Phishing in technology terms is the sending out of emails, texts, voicemails and more. This is done by cyber criminals seeking out information like credit card numbers, bank account access, account information or gift card numbers.

What can you do to prevent a phishing scam?

There are many things you can do to prevent yourself from getting phished, these include:

  • Being more careful when receiving new emails or texts or messages.
  • Reporting and or deleting the content.
  • Not falling for scam texts or emails that claim to be from popular brands or government departments.
  • Never giving out personal information unless you have verified that it is safe to do so.
  • Keeping updated on frequently circulated scam texts and emails.

So, now you know how to prevent online phishing its time to go outside and enjoy the long weekend if you can.

What is Privilege Access Management (PAM)?

Privilege Access Management or PAM in cyber security terms is about offering solutions for securing your sensitive data.

Lets break this down:

  • First off, what does the word privilege mean in this context? Well, it essentially means having the authority to access an account.
  • Second, the word Access in this context means just that-having permission to access the account. The last word, management, means in broad terms, the taking care of managing who has access and what the requirements are for access to the data.

Why is Privilege Access Management important in technology today?

The principle of least privilege is well known in the cyber security world. PAM is based upon this idea that all users should have access only to the information and systems that they need to perform their job. Its a security idea as such.

PAM secures against risks and is used to protect sensitive data in a business. The access points are limited in order to prevent such things like data breaches this is done by managing and tracking privileged users.

Did you know? “Forrester states that 80% of data breaches are connected to compromised privileged credentials.”(Source)

Did you know?
“Gartner has identified PAM as one of the top 10 security projects for organizations in 2019.”

There are many types of Privilege Access Management account types but we will save that for another more in-depth blog post. The implementation of processes to ensure the handling of privileged accounts will reduce risks from user behaviours and other vulnerabilities. Providing solutions with a well planned and well managed PAM program will mitigate the risks for your company and ensure better security.

Here are some fundamental aspects that a good PAM program should contain, according to Heimdal Security in the Netherlands.

  • Having a strong password management policy in place.
  • Log and record all privileged user sessions.
  • Follow the Zero Trust model and applying the Principle of Least Privilege – in other words, not keeping unnecessary privileged accounts in your environment.
  • Implement a leading-edge Privileged Access Management tool.

So there you have it, a brief overview of privilege access management-PAM, now you know more about securing sensitive data.

Sources:

https://heimdalsecurity.com/blog/privileged-access-management/

The Benefits of Playtime

Playtime

The power of playtime rules goes back a long way, over the years play has been studied by prominent people including, Jung, Freud and Piaget. It seems that adults over time do loose the amount of playtime in their lives, but for children this vital and beneficial time is an important piece in their development.

Playtime now, more than ever is playing a very important role in our society. Did you know that currently during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, kids playtime with the power of the brick that is the Lego brand has in fact increased with a significant 21% jump in Lego sales? Its a fact and completely understandable considering the impact of more at-home time for children.

The Lego Foundation has many great things to say about play including “Give children the chance to shape their own world through the wonder of inventive play and the pride of
creation – at home, at school, anywhere.”

So, how in fact does playtime benefit us as humans? Well, child’s play and playing together as a family is fun, and it’s vital to a child’s ability to develop core life skills such as confidence, communication, creativity and critical thinking. These abilities are also crucial to their wellbeing and success as adults. In fact, our perceived happiness and well being really do increase when adults and children play together regularly.

Play time is more often than not, a really rewarding time and we all know it also includes digital playtime for children too with parents helping to shape their children’s play experiences and balance their children’s digital play times with other play forms.

Play Makes People. It scaffolds learning and helps children to grow and flourish.” So, we should all as people find a little beneficial time every day to include and share our playtime with others in our lives to benefit ourselves, our families and our world.

Sources: https://www.legofoundation.com/media/1441/lego-play-well-report-2018.pdf

Entrepreneurship and Brainstorming

“Ideas are easy, implementation is hard.” Guy Kawasaki

Ideas and brainstorming, a gathering of the minds, has since the dawn of time been a key factor in the entrepreneurship process. In the 1940’s a book by Alex Osborn called “Think Up,”was a brainstorming game changer and a precursor to thinking broadly and widely in business. Mr. Osborn is claimed to have said that “It is easier to tone down a wild idea than to think up a new one.”

Nowadays, brainstorming and ideation sessions are used to rebrand companies, to start companies, to launch products and so much more. In fact brainstorming is often a chance to collaborate with other idea creators and as such can bring about a storming of the castle of a problem with a myriad of ideas.

Here are five tips for Brainstorming:

  1. Focus on Quantity
  2. Withhold Criticism
  3. Welcome the Bold and Wild Ideas even from other Industries
  4. Combine and Improve on Ideas
  5. Include Visuals of the ideas, people like visuals.

I hope you look forward to your next brainstorming session and remember to have the right environment for the session by creating a safe non-judgmental space for creativity at your business, because you never know what bright idea might stick.

Making Passwords Stronger

Password Safety

Using passwords at play and at work is a part of our everyday daily lives. You have probably have heard about the need to create a strong password, renewing your passwords and using two factor authentication when possible.

But have you heard about password managers that can create unique passwords and store your login passwords in one place online? Well, they are one option for keeping all those random passwords in a tidy and relatively safe place.

Making passwords stronger is something we hear about in the media often these days, and its an important thing to do when you use many devices, here are our top 5 things to look for in a strong password.

  1. Use words that are not normally associated together.
  2. Use a password manager to create a strong password for you if you want a very strong password.
  3. Don’t share your passwords with with other people.
  4. Use different passwords for every place you need one.
  5. Don’t use personal information such as a birth year in a password-that everyone can look up.

For those of you who really hate passwords there is a biometric solution with a bold move to where we may no longer need passwords and instead only use our biometric data as proof of entry. Although this too carries its own set of security issues. A big name brand that talks more about this is Microsoft.

So, whether passwords are always going to be with us or whether they will eventually become a thing of the past it seems only time and technology adoption will tell. One thing we know for sure is that we can guarantee is that passwords sure are getting trickier to create but are still too easy to forget whether at work or at play.