Just as we remain concerned about our health by exercising good hygiene, companies need to maintain good security practices with cybersecurity hygiene. Everyone needs good cybersecurity hygiene, whether they’re an IT professional or not.
However, not everyone seems to be concerned about cybersecurity. Only 25% of the C-level executives said they were very or extremely concerned about security, compared to 80% of security professionals who fell into the very and extremely concerned range.
Any company can maintain good security by following basic cybersecurity hygiene practices.
Source: Nexia International
The Web is Full of Viruses
Malicious actors are using cyber attacks to try and infect your networks and steal your data. In fact, cybersecurity incidents are up by 32% compared to last year, with malware being used for 63% of attacks. As cybercriminals find more ways to attack companies, the threats companies face are vast. Here are just some of the threats companies can face.
Malware: Malware remains a top security threat and comes in many forms, such as: viruses, ransomware and trojans. Malware can seep into your network via harmless, everyday applications like email or social media.
The “Internet of things” (IoT): IoT encompasses devices that connect to the Internet. As the world begins to move online and companies begin to integrate devices (like BYOD) into their workplace, it puts you at risk to being hacked and exploited by cybercriminals.
Zero Day Attacks: These attacks exploit vulnerabilities that are unknown or not immediately patched. These can be hard to detect because they exploit problems that manufacturers or vendors are unaware about.
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack: DDoS attacks make websites unavailable by increasing traffic. During an attack, your employees and customers may not be able to access your company website. These attacks can become costly because you end up using a lot of your resources, or more, to accommodate the increase in traffic.
4 Tips for Effective Cybersecurity Hygiene
Just like personal hygiene, cybersecurity hygiene is a continuous process you need to consistently work on. These are some practices you can put into use right now.
Identify and prioritize key assets: Businesses should evaluate what they consider to be their most critical data. Then, they need to implement and plan a solid security strategy to protect, encrypt and back up the data.
Patch & Update: Approximately 90% of companies get attacked with three-year-old vulnerabilities. Thus, you need to patch applications, anti-virus software and operating systems regularly and quickly. Updating your network regularly will help remove potential vulnerabilities and avoid zero-day attacks.
Monitor Your Network: Monitoring your network activity and applications will help you detect suspicious activity as soon as possible. One way to keep track of your network is to use privilege administration controls. This allows you to limit access to specific users within your organization and help you keep track of who is accessing your data. Monitoring your network applications will also help you keep them up-to-date.
Keep cybersecurity at the forefront: Approximately a third of all global organizations lack a cybersecurity expert. This puts organizations at a disadvantage as they struggle to keep up with cybercriminals. Simple things like using multi-factor authentication and having your employees change their passwords every few months are ways you can integrate good security practices.