8 Best Practices for Organisations to Ensure Cyber Hygiene
Given the rapid evolution of cybercrimes, the threat landscape is very volatile. In fact, since the pandemic, the FBI has reported a 300% increase in cyberattacks in the US. Unfortunately, 43% of attacks were aimed at small businesses but only 14% were prepared to defend themselves.
With this in mind, it is pertinent that organisations develop a common cyber hygiene policy. Basically, given the level of sophistication of cybercrime today, installing an antivirus or using network firewalls is not enough. Rather, organisations should strive to maintain good cyber hygiene.
What is cyber hygiene?
Cyber hygiene pertains to a set of practices organisations should employ to maintain the health and security of their users, networks, devices, and data. Essentially, the goal is to guarantee the security of data and protect it from theft or attack.
As such, here are 8 of the best practices you can employ in your organisation to ensure cyber hygiene.
Ensuring your organisation’s cyber hygiene:
1) Employ Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Enabling multi-factor authentication on all of your organization’s accounts and devices ensures that only authorised users have access.Given the variety of authentication methods available, having at least two or three verification factors, such as using one-time passwords (OTPs) and password-based authentication, creates a layered defence that makes it more difficult for an unauthorised person to access a network.
2) Ensure endpoint protection
Some businesses provide employees with Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as laptops, desktops, and mobile phones, to access the corporate network. That said, businesses should ensure that these endpoint devices have device and browser protections as well as network, application, and data controls to ensure that sensitive data is protected. Likewise, the occurrence of any cyberattack is mitigated.
3) Perform regular backups
By regularly performing backups, organisations can be assured that their data is safe. That said, experts recommend following the 3-2-1 rule of backup, in which three copies of data are stored on two different kinds of media while keeping one copy offsite. Doing so can guarantee that all sensitive organisational data is secured.
4) Patch software right away
Since cybercriminals systematically look for vulnerabilities in outdated software, update your software right away whenever patches are available. In a 2020 IBM survey, they found that 43% of respondents who recently experienced data breaches indicated that the cause was a failure of the organisation to patch their software right away. As such, routinely screen your network for missing patches and update them right away when possible.
5) Implement a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)
For organisations that rely on infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS), utilise CASB software. With this in place, it would secure connections between end users and the cloud. Likewise, it would enforce your organisation’s security policies, such as authentication, encryption, data loss prevention, and malware detection. Essentially, through a CASB, an organisation can have better visibility and control over the security of cloud-based data.
6) Educate your employees
Routinely conduct in-depth cybersecurity trainings to emphasise their crucial role in mitigating cyberattacks. Likewise, provide consistent reviews and updates on relevant cybersecurity policies to reinforce learning about foundational cybersecurity practices.
7) Routinely scan your system
Regularly conduct scans for your entire network to identify threats and vulnerabilities. This includes scanning endpoint devices and routers to determine any potential points of entry for attackers. Encrypting devices and having at least WPA2 or WPA3 encryption on routers can secure your network from threats.
8) Create an incident response plan
Given the plethora of attacks on big businesses such as the 2021 Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Attack, the 2021 T-Mobile Cyberattack, and the 2020 SolarWinds Hack, businesses should have an incident response plan in case attacks like those do happen. Through an incident response plan, IT and cybersecurity professionals can identify the breach correctly, contain the threat, control the damage, and patch vulnerabilities that allowed the attack to happen in the first place. This can help the business recover from the attack with minimal damage.
Given that cyberattacks can be expensive and damaging to the organisation, it would be beneficial for companies to maintain good cyber hygiene. By following 8 of the best practices to ensure cyber hygiene, the organisation can be assured that possible threats are mitigated and data and networks are secure.
That said, if your organisation needs help maintaining good cyber hygiene, Cyber Sierra can help. With your organisation’s growth and security in mind, Cyber Sierra can assure you that all cybersecurity regulations will be met, risks will be managed seamlessly, security will be baked across the entirety of your business, third-party vendors will be monitored, and the right insurance coverage will protect you and your business from costly breaches. Essentially, with Cyber Sierra’s consolidated approach to security, you can be assured that all your security needs will be met.