Still using simple passwords? Here’s a good example of why you shouldn’t be.

10th May 2022

Article written by Joe Newton (Technical Manager at Connexis) for Shropshire Business Magazine.

Still using simple passwords? Here’s a good example of why you shouldn’t be.

A couple of weeks ago we received an email stating that one of our customers had hit the fraud limit on their SIP Trunk (VoIP telephone line) in the early hours of the morning. Their calls had therefore been suspended.

Unfortunately, we do not manage their telephone system otherwise this would have been avoidable. Fraud limits protect you from encountering huge financial costs from a cyber-attack. We are working to limit the cost that our customer has incurred but any charge incurred from a cyber-attack is unnecessary.

On further investigation from the system maintainer, it appears to have been a weak password that allowed the attacker to access their system.  This is something that any company with remote working functionality needs to be aware of – it doesn’t matter how strong your firewalls and other defences are, having a weak password is like leaving your key under a flower pot outside your front door.

In a previous article, I discussed how to create a strong yet memorable password. My advice included making your password a passphrase with 3 or 4 random and unconnected words.  Look around you during your commute to work, or while you are out at the weekend for inspiration. 

As a business, you need to ensure that all your systems have a long minimum password length, and that staff are educated on what passwords are, and, are not appropriate. Multi-Factor Authentication, such as AuthPoint from WatchGuard, is another great way to protect your accounts. 

For many telephone systems, as well as many computer applications, security is an after-thought. When reviewing your telecommunication strategy you need to look at solutions that are secure by design, such as Wildix, to ensure that you are not the next victim of a “toll-fraud” attack.

Whatever telephone system you use, it is vitally important to keep it up to date to prevent software vulnerabilities from being exploited. The consequences of using any IT or communication system with weak security goes far beyond the immediate risk of something like toll fraud.  Cyber criminals and state sponsored hackers are constantly on the lookout for an easy target to attack.

Cyber warfare has long been a problem, but since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine this has increased significantly.  You may think that your company will not be a target of Russian cyber warfare – this unfortunately is naïve.  If you live in a country that is an ally of Ukraine, you are a target of Russian hackers.  You may not have any direct connection to Government, defence or infrastructure organisations, but if you can be compromised the attackers may be able to use your network to then compromise your IT company for example, when they come to service your network, and they may then have a client who does have a government contract. 

Cyber criminals and state sponsored hackers are extremely patient and will wait for the perfect time to attack a compromised system.

As a WatchGuard and Wildix partner, Connexis are perfectly placed to ensure that your network and communications systems are secure.  Contact us today on 01952 528000 or sales@connexis.co.uk.

 

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