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Free Weekly Cyber Security Tips

The Biggest Cyber Security Threat Is INSIDE Your Organisation
By Educating Your Staff It Will Help Protect Your Business


At Vermont Systems we are passionate about helping our clients, associates, suppliers and partners in the fight against Cyber Criminals.

Did you know that 75% of organisations suffered staff-related security breaches in 2017? Of these, 50% of the most damaging breaches were caused by human error.

Paul Moran

"Just to say that I really enjoy these emails and have shared a number around our organisation as a reminder to people to be aware."

Kind regards

Paul Moran
Director of IT & Communications
Fair Ways

Usually employees compromise security unwittingly. It is not a malicious act by them. The cyber security breaches survey in 2017 reveals that of the ‘reported’ cases, 72% of the breaches occur after an employee receives a fraudulent email. One of the other revelations is that only 20% of staff surveyed had attended or received any form of cyber security training.

In order to help local business leaders, Chris Ward, Technical Director at Vermont Systems has written a series of 52 Cyber Security Tips. Bite sized nuggets that can be distributed and actioned on a weekly basis that will build up to a large defence wall over time!

Security is not an install one program and be done with it solution. The only way you will be protected is to constantly review your solutions and educate your staff.

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Chris's Weekly Cyber Security Tip

Tip #1 - What is a strong password and why do you need it?

Welcome to the first of our cyber security tips emails. Each week I will give you specific, actionable advice to help you avoid being the victim of a cyber crime. Yes - there are bad guys out there who want to steal from you. At a minimum they are going to cost you time, and it can be highly embarrassing. At worst, it can cost you thousands of pounds in hard cash, and possibly your job.

We all know that without password protection, nothing is safe but we frequently use insecure passwords to protect our valuable data and to provide access to our technology.

So get focused, here we go...


Thanks to powerful brute-force-attack software readily available online, hackers can quickly and easily try tens of millions of possible password combinations per second. For example, hacking software can guess a five-character password in under three hours. If you only use lowercase letters, it’s 11.9 seconds!

You KNOW you need to have a better password than “password” or “letmein” if you have any hope of keeping hackers out, but what does a “strong” password mean? A good password should be at least eight characters long (or longer!) and have a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols that are hard to guess. Don’t use dictionary words with proper capitalisation because they’re easy to guess (like Password123!). Even though it meets the requirements we just discussed, it’s easily hacked; remember, hackers have sophisticated password-hacking software that will run 24/7/365.


How do your current passwords rate?

Next week, I will explain how to choose a good password. So this week's action is to make a list of your online accounts that might have bad passwords (you will need this later). If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am always happy to help,

Chris Ward Technical Director Vermont Systems Ltd IT Support and Services

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I am very grateful for the weekly tips over the course of the year following our seminar. They have helped consolidate the lessons from the meeting. They are invariably to the point, and delivered in a humorous and engaging way. I have not implemented ALL of the pieces of advice, but hope I’ve adopted enough of the practices, and absorbed enough of the precautionary culture to stay safe. And also to apply my new-found awareness to other lessons and tips I may come across. Many thanks.

Andrew Williams

I found them all very helpful. As a former IT manager I still have to stop and think sometimes when I get an email that looks really genuine. It is so easy to become fooled these days unless you have a foundation of what to look for, which has been given by your excellent emails.

Mr Wadhams

I have found Chris’ Cyber Security Tips very useful, thought provoking and reassuring. Many thanks!

Colin Brooks

Paul Rollison

We are in safe hands with people who genuinely care about our business

1 Community provide a range of support services to the Eastleigh community. We moved to Vermont because of their reputation for service, proactive Management, and client commitment. Our IT now really ...Read More

Paul Rollison
Senior Operations Manager
1 Community

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