Three Basic Steps to Security

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Three Basic Steps to Security

When it comes to securing your hospitality business' network, make sure you’re covering the basics. As a first line of a defense, Russ Schrader, Executive Director, National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), advises companies “to mind the three Ps: patches, people and passwords.”

Patches. “A lot of breaches occur because software is not up to date,” Schrader says. “They (the bad actors) count on for a period of time people don’t use the patch. You have to be on top of it.”

People. “In hospitality whether its hotels or restaurants, there’s a lot of turnover. When you hire, you make sure new staff is on boarded properly. But how about when employees leave? How do you off board someone properly? You go through and change all things to make sure they’re locked out and to make sure they can’t do anything tricky” such as copy files or create a backdoor, he says.

Passcodes. “It is good policy to change a passcode every 30 days, but it gets confusing. People revert to things easily hacked and guessable.”

More than half of users reuse the same password on different systems, and to make matters worse, even a full year after a security breach where a password is compromised, more than 70% of hacked passwords are still in use, reported an article on the site Dark Reading, citing a Virginia Tech password study involving 61.5 million passwords and 28.8 million users.

Schrader suggests using a pass phrase that is from something easy to remember, such as a line from a favorite song or nursery rhyme plus some numbers. (maryhadalittlelamb1218.) Then changing it to the next line the next month. (itsfleeceaswhiteassnow0119)

“That way you have a fighting chance remember what your password is each month,” Schroder says. “And it’s longer so it is harder to hack.”

These basics are a good starting point and can help deter hackers. “Think how criminals think about things. They’re very good with tech. They go for the easiest target first,” says ControlScan. “It’s like the zombie apocalypse. You don’t need to be the fastest guy, you just got to be faster than the slowest guy.”