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5 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR CYBERSECURITY TODAY
Cybersecurity is a hot topic both at home and in the workplace. It’s difficult to find a news web page or quarterly report that doesn’t feature a new hack, breach, or cyber threat. In the modern world, we can’t ignore the constant threat of cyber criminals or the need to protect our data.
A breach can cost your organization critical time and energy, astronomical fees in ransoms and fines, and, worst of all, the trust of your clients and partners. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report 2021, there were almost 850,000 reported cyberattacks and $6.9 billion in damages. The companies who have experienced a significant breach can all confirm it pays to be prepared. If you’re concerned about your organization’s security, look at these five tips to see where you can improve.
TIP 1: IMPROVE YOUR PASSWORD MANAGEMENT
When it comes to passwords, do any of the statements below sound like you?
- I have one or two passwords for everything.
- I don’t use complicated passwords.
- I frequently write passwords down.
- I have many shared passwords with staff, family, or friends.
- I save passwords in my browser.
If you answer ‘Yes’ to any of these, it’s time to consider a password manager like LastPass. The easiest way for a cybercriminal to gain access to your systems is if you give it to them! Using a password manager and improving your password management skills is one of the strongest defenses against breaches. Here are some from NIST and the ISO 27001 regulation on password requirements:
- Pick strong passwords
- 8 character minimum
- 3 or 4 data types – upper, lower, numeric, and special character
- Change passwords if a breach occurs
- Change passwords if you suspect anyone else knows it
- Change passwords or delete accounts when employees are transferred or terminated
TIP 2: SCHEDULE COMPUTER, DEVICE, AND SOFTWARE UPDATES
If a cybercriminal targets your network devices or computers in their attack, it might be over before you have time to realize it’s started. The organizations which develop your software, run your operating system, and create your computer parts are constantly discovering flaws in their products and publishing updates. They frequently publish the vulnerabilities being patched at the same time. If you aren’t up to date, you’re creating an opportunity for cybercriminals to breach your systems.
Set up a weekly update time for your systems. This will reduce the number of vulnerabilities in your systems.
TIP 3: INVEST IN A BEHAVIORAL ANTIVIRUS
Even with updated systems and secure passwords, cybercriminals are constantly working to find vulnerabilities. A vulnerability can only be patched if it’s been discovered, and normal antiviruses can only block what they’ve been told to. So, what do you do when a cybercriminal uses a newly discovered technique?
A behavioral antivirus analyzes your computer usage patterns (when, how, and what), as well as the actions of all the programs running. When something happens on your computer that doesn’t look like you, the antivirus will immediately shut it down. A good antivirus is like a security guard for your computer that works 24/7. Don’t be caught without protection!
If you’re interested in an antivirus solution, let’s talk. We can help you find the perfect antivirus for your organization and implement it too!
TIP 4: SECURE YOUR WI-FI
Wi-Fi is one of the easiest bridges for cybercriminals to access a network. Many locations have un-secured Wi-Fi (a network without a password) or publicly available wireless internet. In setups like these, a cybercriminal might not even need to leave his car to access your network and attempt to hack into your systems.
Your Wi-Fi networks need a password. A simple Wi-Fi password can stop many breaches before they even get started. Additionally, employees’ personal devices and devices from outside your organization should never be on the same network as your organization’s devices. Just like the flu, these devices can bring in whatever sickness they picked up outside and infect your devices if they connect to your network.
TIP 5: PARTNER WITH AN IT SECURITY EXPERT
The world of IT and cybersecurity is constantly changing. Especially with the recent changes to receiving cybersecurity insurance (insurance experts are predicting it won’t even exist in just a few years), running your business without expert support can be incredibly difficult. It pays to be prepared, and the best way to prepare is to have an expert guiding you. Championship teams are built by great coaches. Don’t leave your cybersecurity on the bench!
HOW STRONG IS YOUR SECURITY?
If you learned something new or you’re concerned about the state of your security, don’t wait until a breach to get started. Implement these tips and start your journey with cybersecurity. The cost of a breach is head and shoulders above the cost of prevention.
If you’re looking for an IT Security Expert, or if you’d like a free Cybersecurity audit, check out our contact page. We’d love to hear about your situation and help you increase your cybersecurity strength!