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Parameters and Realities of Cybersecurity: Beyond Passwords

December 2023 by Patrick Houyoux LL.M. ULB, Brussels, Trinity College, Cambridge, UK. President – Director PT SYDECO

In an increasingly complex digital landscape, data protection is at the heart of concerns. A recent article highlights the effectiveness of password managers in countering AI attacks on passwords. However, this solution seems to obscure certain realities of cybersecurity.

Data security often starts with strong passwords. These codes, usually considered the first line of defense, require complexity and uniqueness. However, password managers, although praised for their creation and management, raise questions about managing their own access.

While these tools make it easy to create strong, unique passwords for each site, they also present a major vulnerability: centralization. Indeed, the compromise of a single password can open the door to AI to access all accounts, thus concentrating the risks.

Especially since, if as the cited article suggests, the use of the password manager is justified by the need to protect oneself from an AI attack on one’s passwords, access to the manager is itself even protected by... a password!

Cybersecurity Parameters

First of all, you must understand that cybersecurity is not an end in itself but is only a means of protecting your data, your computer equipment and, in general, your assets.

Data security involves, in addition to the strength of passwords and the way in which they are used, a holistic consideration of several other parameters, including the degree of security of the websites, applications or systems visited, the environment in which passwords are entered as well as the protection of the private network and the way in which the data and its access within the protected network are managed.

The sites visited may have technical vulnerabilities, store passwords inadequately or even be affected by security flaws that can be exploited by cybercriminals to access user data. A healthy approach to cybersecurity therefore requires applying the principle of ZERO TRUST to any website or external application, considering them all as insecure and focusing on the strength of the password that allows access to them as well as on the environment in which it is entered and on the way in which the data is managed.

Thus, whether the visited site is secure or not, the consequences will be as follows depending on whether the password is:

 Low and common to all sites:

o High risk of compromise for data protected by this password,

o Very high risk of compromise for all accounts.

 Strong and common to all sites:

o Reduced risk of compromise for data protected by this password,

o Relatively low risk of compromise for other data.

 Strong and unique per site visited:

o Reduced risk of compromise for data protected by this password,

o Significantly reduced risk of compromise for other accounts because each password is specific to a site or service.

And depending on the security level of the environment in which the password is entered:

 If it is unsecured such as public Wi-Fi networks:

o Without using a VPN, entering passwords should be avoided because no protection is given to them and both the passwords and the data they are supposed to protect and all other user data will be vulnerable to any attack.

o Using VPN (Virtual Private Network) can help secure the connection by encrypting transmitted data, reducing the risk of interception.

 If the environment is secure:

o The risk to data protected by the password used to connect to a site containing security vulnerabilities is real but will vary depending on the strength of the password being protected.

o On the other hand, it is very unlikely that other data stored in the secure environment will be affected.

Finally, regardless of any attack on passwords to access the victim’s data, hackers use, among other things, phishing or social engineering.

At this stage, it is no longer on the password that we must rely to protect our data but on the way in which the internal network is structured.

The design of the network structured in micro-segmentation will thus avoid any lateral contamination of a malware which will only affect the data which has been put in direct contact with the contamination agent.

The main cybersecurity parameters are therefore to be sought in terms of password strength, security of the environment in which they are entered, the principle of ZERO TRUST, security of the environment in which the data is stored and the way this environment is structured.

The environment in which passwords are introduced plays a crucial role. Risks differ between a secure network and a public network.

The ZERO TRUST approach, advocating distrust of all access, and micro-segmentation are becoming essential.

Finally a protected environment, such as a secure home network and/or virtual private network (VPN), provides an additional layer of security.

So while the strength of a password is crucial to securing an individual account, the location from which that password is entered can play a crucial role in protecting other data stored in your digital environment. A combination of good security practices that include segmentation of your network and a secure environment contribute to better protection against online threats.

It is this secure environment created according to the principles of ZERO TRUST and which organizes within the protected entity a MICRO-SEGMENTATION likely to limit any risk of contagion as much as possible, that PT SYDECO created with ARCHANGEL 2.0, Firewall of New Generation.

ARCHANGEL 2.0, Firewall of New Generation protects any entity, large or small, and individuals with PICCOLO VPN.

Access to websites is secure, whether the password is entered within the protected unit or even outside thanks to the VPN server included in ARCHANGEL 2.0.

At home, the environment is secure thanks to PICCOLO VPN which also allows you to enter passwords securely even when you are on the move thanks to the VPN server it contains.


#VPN #motdepasse #password # cyversecurit #Firewall #FWNG # malware # Archangel #PICCOLO # data #passwordsmanager #zerotrust #segmentation #PTSYDECO #Wifi #AI

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