10 Cyber Security Resolutions to Reduce Your Data Exposure
Cyber security threats are a trending topic for businesses as we enter into 2019. With the largest ever reported compromises in data safety reported in 2018, right now is a great time to re-evaluate your organizations data protection practices. Below are ten new years resolutions for implementing new strategies within your organization to prevent becoming a victim of cyber crime.
Provide Security Training
Employees are your first line of defense when it comes to cyber threats. Even the most robust and expensive data protection solutions can be compromised should an employee click a malicious link or download fraudulent software. As such, it’s critical for organizations to thoroughly train personnel on common cyber threats and how to respond. Employees should understand the dangers of visiting harmful websites, leaving their devices unattended and oversharing personal information on social media. Your employees should also know your cyber security policies and know how to report suspicious activity.
Install Strong Anti-Virus Software & Keep It Updated
Outside of training your employees on the dangers of poor cyber security practices, strong anti-virus software is one of the best ways to protect your data. Organizations should conduct thorough research to choose software that’s best for their needs. Once installed, anti-virus programs should be kept up-to-date.
Instill Safe Web Browsing Practices
Deceptive and malicious websites can easily infect your network, often leading to more serious cyber attacks. To protect your organization, train employees on proper web usage an instruct them to only interact with websites marked secure. For further protection, you could also consider blocking known threats and potentially websites while also providing an easy way for your employees to report websites they’ve encountered which have sent up red flags.
Create Strong Password Policies
Ongoing password management can help prevent unauthorized attackers from compromising your organization’s password-protected information. Above all, you’ll want to create a password policy that specifies all of the organizations requirements, including changing passwords regularly, avoid using the same password or algorithm for creating passwords for multiple accounts, and use a combination of special characters and lower and uppercase letters as a requirement for password creation.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
While complex passwords can help deter cyber criminals, they can still be cracked. Multi-factor authentication adds a layer of security where users must confirm their identity by providing additional information (i.e. unique security code, Authenticater code, or have access to a specific device to accept login).
Get Vulnerability Assessments
One way to test your organization’s data exposures is through a vulnerability assessment. Using a system of simulate attacks and stress tests, vulnerability assessments can help you uncover entry points into your system. Following these tests, your security experts can then compile findings to provide recommendations for improving network and data safety.
Patch Systems Regularly & Keep Them Updated
A common way cyber criminals gain entry into your system is by exploiting software vulnerabilities. To prevent this, it’s critical that you update applications, operating systems, security software, and firmware on a regular basis.
Back Up Your Data
In the event your system is compromised, it’s important to keep backup files. Failing to do so can result in the loss of critical business or proprietary data.
Understand Phishing Treats & How to Respond
In broad terms, phishing is a method cyber criminals use to gather personal information. In these scams, phishers send an email or direct users to fraudulent websites, asking victims to provide sensitive information. These emails and websites are designed to look legitimate and trick individuals into providing credit card numbers, account numbers, passwords, usernames, or other sensitive information. Phishing is becoming more sophisticated by the day, and it’s more important than ever to understand the different types of attacks, how to identify them, and preventive measures you can implement to keep your organization safe. As such, it’s critical to train employees on common phishing scams and other cyber security concerns. Provide real-world examples during training to help your employees better understand what to look for.
Create An Incident Response Plan
Cyber security programs provide clear steps for companies to follow when a cyber even occurs, instructing employees on who to contact and the actions an organization will follow to notify impacted customers and partners quickly and efficiently to limit financial and reputational damages.