Cybersecurity Hygiene

September 13, 2021

Cyber Risks Accelerated by COVID-19 

The trends in cybersecurity we saw before 2020 have, unsurprisingly, only been accelerated by COVID-19 and the great migration to remote work across the world. Combine that with unplanned and rushed cloud migrations as part of moving to remote work and an environment has been created that is ripe for cybercriminals. Without taking the time to plan and put the proper security measures in place, new vulnerabilities were created across organizations in nearly every industry.  

Being proactive is one of the best things you can do for your cybersecurity hygiene. Below are a few ways you can be proactive and clean up your cybersecurity practices.  

Cybersecurity Automation 

The amount of data your organization houses grows each day. Data is king and will continue to be for a long time to come. Many organizations have taken to hyper-automation to automate as many business and IT processes as possible. But why is that important for your cybersecurity? These tools can be used to collect and analyze data to identify and respond to cyber incidents in real-time.  

Use your data and automation tools as part of your cybersecurity practices to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.  

Employee Training  

Insider threats will continue to be a top cybersecurity vulnerability for organizations. If an employee gives out the wrong piece of data, your entire environment could be compromised. Many times, organizations do not know about breaches in their system caused by employee error for months and many times, by then it is too late.  

Your data protection efforts can be strengthened if your staff completes regular training that includes education on trending cyber threats and simulations.  

Not every single employee should have the keys to the kingdom, so to speak. There should be data that your organization protects and only allows certain employees to access. With fewer employees having access to the most sensitive data, you’re less likely to experience data loss from a breach.  

Limit Access to Sensitive Data 

Put restrictions in place and create rules and processes for keeping these restrictions fresh as your organization grows.  

Password Standards 

In 2019, 23.2 million victims worldwide used “123456” as their password, according to Security Magazine. Putting some rules around passwords can go a long way to help secure your environment. Although it used to be common practice to require your employees to change passwords as often as every 90 days, with the right password requirements, changes only need to be made every 6-12 months.  

10 character minimum with a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters is best. Using uncommon words or non-dictionary words will also make for a more secure password.  

Multifactor Authentication 

Multifactor authentication is an added layer of protection against data breaches and attacks. It can stop up to 99% of breaches from email, according to a Forrester Report. Authentication can be done in a variety of ways including notification through a mobile app, a verification through a mobile app, a text, or even a phone call. This simple solution takes no more than 20 seconds and has a huge impact on cybersecurity hygiene.  

If you are one of the 73% of small businesses that plan to increase their cybersecurity in the next 12 months, you can start with a few of these measures. If you need to talk more about your organization’s unique needs, contact GadellNet’s team.