October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This month is about bringing awareness to the importance of cybersecurity, keeping organizations and individuals safe, and more secure online. To celebrate, we’re sharing 17 tips on how to practice good cyber hygiene.
First, cyber hygiene is both a real thing and an important consideration. Think of it as personal hygiene for your devices. In a nutshell, cyber hygiene is the process of practicing good habits to help keep data safe and to protect your devices from hackers and outside attacks. Cyber hygiene is on-going and regularly applies to hardware (computers, phones, tablets, etc.), software, and applications that an organization (or individual) uses.
Benefits Of Cyber Hygiene
The benefits of a strong cyber hygiene program can be hard to quantify. That’s because it’s hard to measure the impact of keeping your data safe, having devices running at optimal efficiency, decreasing the risk of vulnerabilities, and preventing cyber-attacks unless any of these scenarios impact your organization. If you are feeling the impact, you may feel a bit of pain and potentially even remorse for not implementing good cyber hygiene prior to the incident.
Cyber Hygiene Tips
So, how to practice cyber hygiene? Consider these tips:
- Identify, document, and analyze the hardware, software, and applications that you are utilizing.
- Completely wipe any hardware that you are not currently using. If you will not be using the equipment in the future, consider disposing of it.
- Remove data, files, and information that is no longer need.
- Remove or uninstall any software or applications you are not regularly using.
- Update and install necessary patches for all software or applications that are in use – across all devices.
- If you are using multiple applications to accomplish a similar function, consider streamlining and reducing the duplicate applications.
- Change passwords or passphrases Don’t use the same password across devices or services! Keep them unique.
- Review the antivirus and malware software that is installed to ensure it is up-to-date and functioning properly. If an antivirus and malware software is not installed, review available options, and install.
- Incorporate multi-factor authentication, and/or ensure employees are using it.
- Employ device encryption and/or ensure employees are using it.
- Back up data: You should do this to an offline hard drive or to a secure cloud environment.
- Regularly review who admin privileges have been granted to and remove contacts that no longer need these privileges.
- Identify employees that have left the company in the past year and ensure their credentials and access has been shut down.
- Develop an IT disaster recovery plan.
- Host cybersecurity awareness training.
- Execute to determine how impactful your cybersecurity is, and where you may still have holes.
- Establish a cyber hygiene policy that details how to handle the above task, and who will handle them.
There you have it, seventeen tips to help your organization practice healthy cyber hygiene. If you suddenly feel overwhelmed by this list TALK TO US. We can help you tackle these details. Call (415) 543-1033 or email us [email protected].