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Cybersecurity hygiene is defined as the day-to-day practice of maintaining the basic health and security of software and hardware assets, according to Graylog. With current world events developing quickly, keeping up with this daily practice is incredibly important. Put simply, cybersecurity is more important today than ever before.

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 increases 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. This starts with knowing the difference between your sensitive data and your publically accessible data. Restricting access to data based on who needs it within your organization helps safeguard against attackers having the ability to access all of your data. Be sure to set rules and processes for encrypting this data if it must be sent.

Password Standards 

In 2023, nearly 6 million passwords worldwide were “123456” according to Cyber News. 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.  

A password with a minimum of 12 characters is best. It should include a mix of upper/lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.  Avoid using memorable keyboard paths (think “qwerty”) and don’t include personal information like birthdates, pets’ names, or your nickname. 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.  

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