Why 2023 is the time to get digitally fit - starting with security
January 2023 by Michael Crandell, CEO of Bitwarden
Many people start the New Year wanting to get physically fit – but with the increase in cyberattacks over the last 12 months, shouldn’t we all also be looking to get our digital security in the same great shape?
New research has revealed that last year saw the number of recorded cyberattacks rise by 38% globally, rightly pushing concerns around online safety and cyber resilience to the fore for 2023.
As we live more of our lives online and our reliance on digital technologies increases, both businesses and consumers should get organised, reassess what they need, and ensure they have the best and latest security in place for the year ahead.
With many security changes being free or very inexpensive to implement, one of the best investments you can make in 2023 will be in your digital security.
Here are a few ’exercises’ you can practise to increase your overall digital fitness, starting with using a password manager. Just like physical fitness, it’s not about doing any one thing, but employing a combination of healthy habits to outpace bad actors.
Use a trusted open-source password manager
Whether you’re a consumer or a business, everyone should be working with a password manager to not only keep authentication credentials safe but make it easier to employ strong and unique passwords that are far less likely to be hacked. Using a trusted open-source password manager should be an indispensable part of any digital security strategy.
Send files safely and securely with end-to-end encryption
Data protection is critical for anyone who wants to up their digital security and keep their sensitive information away from prying eyes. Some password managers offer features that enable you to securely transmit information via end-to-end encryption, so the only person who can view the text or file is the recipient. Typed messages or attached files can even be set to auto-destruct with an expiration date, so you can be certain the file will only be available for a set period. You can also password-protect whatever you send to add even more security.
Safeguard your digital legacy
As the move to digital continues, we need better ways to share sensitive information in times of crisis. This can include anything from login details for an online service to personal and confidential documents. Regardless of content, you’ll need to consider options for handing off access in the event of an emergency or unforeseen circumstances. A password manager that has an emergency access capability allows you to assign a delegate to access your information safely and securely.
Implement multi-factor authentication
Turn on multi-factor authentication (MFA/2FA) wherever possible for an added layer of security on your accounts. Extending your login process beyond a single step (your password) makes it more difficult for unauthorised users to access your information. Authenticator apps or physical security keys are generally more secure than email or mobile notifications, though any method of MFA is more secure than not using one at all.
Adopt passwordless authentication for added security
Passwordless authentication is already beginning to be adopted by individuals and businesses as the preferred method of logging into accounts. Opting for a password manager that offers this type of secure login makes it easier and faster to log into your web vault, adding an extra layer of security while removing the chore of typing out your master password.
If the last year taught us anything, it’s that cyber threats can have devastating consequences for both our personal and business lives. As we look back on these lessons, it’s clear that investing in digital security will prove critical for 2023 as everyone’s attack surface continues to expand. So don’t let cyber threats ruin your year – make getting digitally fit one of your New Year’s resolutions, and your digital life a lot safer in the process.