Cyber Security

Cyber Security sounds really dull. To most people it means don�t give your password out to strangers and don�t click links in emails you don�t trust. But it really is a whole lot more than that, and there are some pretty cool aspects to it.

This is why we�re running more regular events with the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster (still such a mouthful!) We have three events in the pipeline now. A September Talk, an Autumn Workshop and an interactive event in December, more details on all of these are coming soon.

I had a meeting last week to discuss these upcoming events and we may have ended up a little off track. Talking to Damon from Wolfberry, who specialise in testing just how secure your systems are, he put the fear into me about how easy it is for someone like him to take control of everything I own.

Everyone knows (I hope) that you shouldn�t use the same password for everything and you most definitely shouldn�t use the names of your family or dates of birth etc. (Damon talked about one customer who did this and wiped all his personal info off social media to prevent anyone learning about it... but his wife didn�t. A very easy day for Wolfberry to tell this customer how to improve his security!)

Most people I know reuse passwords to some extent and it turns out that Damon and I use the same principle.

It begins with the same basics as explained (far better than I could) by this comic:

The next step is to make it unique for every website you use which is relatively simple, just replace one of the words in your pass phrase with a unique version of the website name. For example, something like; bookface, bluesocial, twatter (stop giggling), hooter and so on. By doing this your password becomes much more difficult for people like Damon (only meaner) to access.

However, passwords are still a vastly inferior way of securing your accounts. The way forward is something called two factor authentication.

If you�ve heard of it, great, start using it today.

If not, learn about it and start using it today!

Here�s how it works: when you sign into something, a message is sent to another device you own, sometimes by text message, sometimes to an app such as Google Authenticator. This will give you a one-time password that is valid for a very brief period of time, and is virtually impossible to crack.

More details on our upcoming CyberSec events will be coming soon!