You are probably quite familiar with the adage about the benefits of an ounce of prevention. Unquestionably, there are some things that you need to do if you want to avoid more serious issues in the future. For example, as a child, you may have been warned of the potential consequences if you did not brush your teeth and floss or if you went overboard on sugary treats. As you aged, you may have learned that poor dental hygiene could make you more vulnerable to cavities that could lead to pain, expensive restorative procedures, tooth loss and/or potentially serious health risks. What you might not realize, however, is that proper cyber hygiene is just as important to the health of your business as proper dental hygiene is to your personal health. Poor cyber hygiene can also cause you pain, cost you money, result in lost customers and/or pose a serious threat to the continued success of your business.
What Is Cyber Hygiene?
In basic terms, cyber hygiene is a series of steps and practices that help you enhance security and maintain a healthy system. Cyberattacks keep increasing, and cybercriminals are constantly refining their methods and upgrading their skills. Furthermore, routine maintenance is a necessary part of helping your system operate efficiently. A good cyber hygiene policy can help block hostile threats while simultaneously enabling software and computers to operate at peak efficiency. Unfortunately, many organizations have yet to embrace an effective abuse platform to help prevent a cyber mess.
What Are Some Typical Cyber Hygiene Issues?
Modern businesses often utilize a variety of devices, apps and programs to conduct daily operations. Every element has different vulnerabilities and problems. Here are just a few of them.
- Data: Data can be lost forever, stolen, corrupted or misplaced.
- Breaches: Spam, phishing, malware, viruses and ransomware are common attacks launched by cybercriminals.
- Outdated Software: From antivirus software to operating systems, applications that have not been patched and/or updated often contain vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers.
What Should a Cyber Hygiene Policy Include?
An effective policy does not have to be onerous to administer. In fact, the more burdensome the policy, the greater the likelihood that important steps could be skipped. However, it may require a little of your time initially if you have to catch up on some fundamental tasks.
- You cannot protect what you cannot identify, so the first step is to document all hardware, apps and software. Be sure to include web apps and connected devices.
- Examine your list to identify potential vulnerabilities. If hardware is not being used, it should be properly wiped before being scrapped, sold or stored. Verify that all apps and software programs have been properly patched or updated. If there are unused programs or apps, delete them.
- Set appropriate permissions. For example, limit administrator permissions to just those who truly need access. Restrict access to sensitive information, including personnel records and banking portals, to those who need access to perform their jobs.
- Establish a policy for passwords and enforce it. Make sure that users know how to choose strong passwords. Require regular password changes; changing passwords monthly is often advisable.
- Be diligent about backups. Establish a schedule for backups that defines what is to be included in each backup. Data should always be backed up to the cloud, a hard drive or another secondary source.
- Document every new installation of software or hardware. This allows you to ensure that each installation is performed correctly, and it also allows you to maintain an accurate inventory of your assets.
- Establish an incident response plan. Create a team and train each team member on how to respond to an incident.
- Users have always been the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain. Train employees on security issues, including how to identify malicious emails, the importance of cybersecurity, who to contact if they suspect their device has been compromised, and how to stay safe online. If your users include vendors or customers, you should consider educating them on cyber hygiene as well.
Although you may not be able to predict what threats your organization may face in the future, good cyber hygiene can ensure that you already have the tools in place to keep your system safe.
If you need help, contact Abusix. We have solutions for your toughest problems. You can contact us through our website, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 855-522-8749.