Did you know that a cybersecurity attack is launched every 39 seconds? Yes, you read that right. The growing number and complexity of cybersecurity attacks coupled with lack of preparation on organization’s part, makes hackers life easier. Throw in the billions of IoT devices connecting to the internet and it becomes even more difficult to practice cybersecurity hygiene in your organization.
How can you maintain cybersecurity hygiene in such a situation? In this article, you will learn about ways you can use to maintain cybersecurity hygiene in your company.
1. Antivirus and Malware Blocking Software
One thing most businesses get right is antivirus and antimalware programs. Where they go wrong is in updates. These antivirus and malware blocking software uses their virus definition, which means that the more updated the virus definition, the newer threats it can detect and block. Always choose an antivirus software from a reputable company and download it from a trusted source. You do not want to import malware when downloading the antivirus. Reject any extra that comes preloaded with the antivirus software.
2. Network Firewall
Firewalls act as a gatekeeper and only let legitimate traffic enter your network. This goes a long way in limiting the threats from external sources. Everything will have to get through the security check post of your firewall before entering your network so you can easily block unwanted traffic. This makes it difficult for hackers and cybercriminals to penetrate your network and gain access to critical infrastructure such as data centers or ark dedicated server.
You can not only monitor communications taking place on your network but also prevent unauthorized access attempts. Firewalls can also come in handy when it comes to blocking keyloggers, trojan horses and hacking attempts. Unfortunately, a firewall cannot protect you from attacks from different sources such as email, so you can not sit back and relax after installing a network firewall.
3. Keep Everything Up to Date
Whether it is hardware or software, the older it is the more likely it is to contain security loopholes which can easily be exploited by cyber criminals. That is why it is imperative that you ditch your legacy systems and switch to the latest hardware. Same goes for operating systems and software. If you are still stuck on an older version of the operating system or software, update it to the latest version as soon as possible. Install updates whenever they are released by software providers as they are usually bug fixes, performance enhancements and security improvements, which would enhance your user experience and security.
4. Have a Password Policy
Passwords are not the most secure user authentication method. In fact, it is one of the most vulnerable one. If you are still using passwords, implement a strong password policy. Implement multi-factor authentication and ask your employees to set stronger passwords which contains a combination of alphabetical and numerical characters.
Avoid writing down your passwords on a piece of paper or sharing it with colleagues. Educate your employees and spread awareness about how they can manage their passwords more effectively. By enforcing a comprehensive security policy, you can minimize the risk of insider threat as well as unauthorized access and account takeovers. Businesses that either don’t have a password policy or don’t implement it properly are the ones which are more vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks.
Best of all, switch to a secure user authentication mechanism such as fingerprint, face unlock, iris scanning or more. Most importantly, ask your employees to use password best practices. The more cautious your employees are when setting, managing, and changing their passwords, the less likely they are to fall victim to unauthorized account access.
5. Use Encryption
Most businesses use encryption whether they are encrypting their business communications or encrypting files sent across the network, but they rarely think about encrypting devices. The amount of data our devices carry these days is staggering. Look at how much sensitive data your smartphone has and you know what I am talking about.
The problem with these devices is that they are an easy target for hackers as they are not protected by top of the line enterprise security solutions. What is even worse is that your IT department will not have visibility into those devices. This multiplies the risk of cybersecurity attacks, data breaches and virus and malware infections. To prevent this, it is important that businesses encrypt all the devices connected to the network along with data stored in them. If your business is not using encrypting Altogether, you are at a greater risk of your conversation getting spoofed. As a business, you do not want that.
6. Regular Data Backup
Another important pillar of cybersecurity hygiene is data backups. There is nothing worse for businesses than losing their sensitive business data to cybercriminals. Unfortunately, the exponential rise in the number of ransomware attacks are making this a reality, which is a nightmare for businesses. The best way to combat that is to take regular backup of your data. If that seems tedious, at least take backup of your critical business data so you don’t have to pay the ransom to the attacker. Technical issues, data corrupting malware, natural disasters or any other accident or cybersecurity attack can also make your data inaccessible.
7. Prioritize Router Security
Just like people, your wireless router can often be the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain. Sadly, most businesses don’t understand this, but hackers do. That is why most businesses do not even bother to change the default passwords of their router while the hackers launch targeted attacks on the router to compromise them. Switch to a secure wireless protocol and change your default password as soon as possible. Ask your remote workers to repeat the process on their end for safety purposes.
Do you practice cybersecurity hygiene in your company? If yes, how did it help you in protecting your business against cybersecurity attacks? If no, why not? Let us know in the comments section below.