Like a comic book superhero, you guard and protect your family. You lock your doors before bed. Make sure the kids are safely snug in their beds. Check to make sure your home is well lit. But what about your computer and smart devices?
Ken, our Information Systems Manager, has some smart advice when it comes to security so Suz, our Marketing Director, asked him some questions.
Question: When the Equifax breach occurred, it caused many to ask, “How did this happen?” What’s your take on the situation?
Answer: The Equifax breach was caused by a weakness within an internet access device that left them vulnerable.
Question: So Ken, many are pausing and reflecting on their own personal security. You often talk about “locking the doors”. What do you mean by that?
Answer: In the Equifax breach, access to their network was gained via an internet access device that was not locked down with adequate passwords nor updated to fix recently found vulnerabilities.
Question: What measures does the Credit Union have in place to mitigate that risk?
Answer: We frequently examine all of our internet access devices to verify the firmware is up to date and confirm strong passwords are assigned. This type of review is something I feel all home users would benefit from performing.
Question: That leads me to my final question. What advice would you give an average home user?
Answer: Virtually everyone has access to the internet from home. Nowadays, the outside world is connected to our refrigerator, Roku, along with many other smart devices. Therefore, we should all take precautions to ensure we have adequate password strength along with updated firmware on our internet access devices. For example, if you purchased a wireless router three years ago and you haven’t done any updates since that purchase, you could be vulnerable to an outside attack. If you’re unsure that your firmware is up to date and the routers are rented from your service provider, give them a call and ask. If it’s your own device, most have an update feature as one of the menu items in their access software. I recommend setting a reminder to do a household review annually.