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10 Important Cybersecurity Best Practices

1. EDUCATION

It is far more difficult to prevent a hack than it is to recover from one. When your company's sensitive data is taken as a result of a ransomware attack, retrieving it can be a lengthy and difficult task. Employee education on fundamental security, personal cybersecurity, and the frequency of cyber dangers can go a long way toward preventing ransomware attacks before they do serious damage. Your employees should be aware that they could be the target of hostile actors looking to take advantage of whatever weakness they can identify in your firm.


The average cost of a cyberattack(opens in a new tab) is $3.86 million, with a total cost of $6 trillion estimated for worldwide cybercrime. You may end up spending more in the long term if you don't pay to train your personnel about cybersecurity best practices. Several government resources, like Stopthinkconnect(opens in a new tab) and the Department of Homeland Security, offer high-quality, free training for your personnel (opens in a new tab).


2. MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION AND BETTER PASSWORDS

Do you think your password, which is your mother's maiden name and birthdate, would go unnoticed? Reconsider your position. Cybercriminals have devised sophisticated algorithms that can properly guess complex passwords in a matter of seconds. Traditional password advice recommended using a password that was at least 12 characters long and had a combination of numbers, symbols, and upper- and lower-case letters.


While this is a decent method, it isn't sufficient, and almost every security expert advises utilizing two-factor or multi-factor authentication. To acquire access to programs or resources, two factor authentication (opens in a new tab) is a security technique that requires two separate authentication factors.


3. BE INFORMED ABOUT YOUR COMPANY

Make use of a low-cost resource: your own knowledge. Consider your firm and the areas where hackers are most likely to strike. Would they be interested in personal information about your employees, or in your customer databases or intellectual property? Determine the most likely targets and take adequate precautions to protect them.


4. WIRELESS INTERNET THAT IS SAFE AND SECURE

It may seem obvious for a business to maintain a secure, encrypted, and hidden WiFi network, but with the rise of remote working, it's critical that your staff encrypt their own personal networks as well. The safety of your employees is also your safety. Hacking a distant network of an employee is a simple approach to acquire access to the company's mainframe.


5. BACKUPS BACKUPS BACKUPS BACKUPS BACKUPS BACKUPS BACKUPS BACKUPS

Hackers thrive on the ability to cause havoc with an organization's operations. While cybersecurity specialists deal with the damage and consequences from a cyberattack, an offline backup will allow your company to get back on its feet.


6. DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE

Even the most well-trained employees make mistakes now and again. Installing anti-virus and anti-malware software on computers adds an added layer of protection, notably against phishing assaults (opens in a new tab), which are social engineering attacks that steal data and login credentials.


7. PHYSICAL DEVICES THAT ARE SAFE

Company laptops should be secured with passwords or pins in the same way that you lock the doors when you leave the workplace. Laptops that have been given to departing staff should be reclaimed. Consider every work computer as a potential entry point into your organization.


8. FIRMWARE AND SOFTWARE UPDATES

According to the National Cyber Security Centre in the United Kingdom, outdated software is responsible for more than 80% of hacks (Centrify(opens in a new tab)). Anti-virus and anti-malware software is only as good as its most recent fixes. Hackers will be able to take advantage of the system's flaws if patches are not installed.


9. IT'S BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY.

Does your email appear to be suspicious? Please do not click on it. Is there a pop-up giving you a great deal? Ditto. Always Be Cautious is the first rule of cybersecurity. Before responding to an email, double-check where it came from, especially if anything doesn't sound right.


10. MAKE A PLAN

Having your own cybersecurity team as a small or medium-sized business owner is an expensive investment. Fortunately, there are a variety of free tools available to assist you in creating a basic cybersecurity plan and determining what steps to do if you have been hacked. The FCC's cybersecurity risk management strategy (opens in a new tab) and the Small Business Administration's cybersecurity handbook (opens in a new tab) are both recommended.

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