Cyber hygiene refers to the routines and behaviors that keep critical systems and data secure from cyberattacks. With increasing digitalisation, cyber hygiene is more vital than ever. Government data shows 32% of businesses and 24% of charities faced a cybersecurity breach or attack last year. Failure to implement cyber hygiene best practices leaves organisations vulnerable to financial loss, penalties, and reputation damage.
To bolster cyber defenses, ensure your organisation adheres to the following:
Use Strong Passwords
Enforce the use of robust passwords over 12 characters containing uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Require regular password changes and prohibit password sharing or reuse across accounts. Strong passwords are a fundamental cyber hygiene practice.
Require Multifactor Authentication
Enable multifactor authentication (MFA or 2FA) on email accounts, social media, banking apps, and other critical access points. MFA/2FA requires users to enter a one-time code from their mobile device in addition to their password when logging in. This extra verification step prevents unauthorised access in the event of stolen credentials.
Data backups provide redundancy in case of malware, data destruction, or device failure. Back up essential data either externally on hardware like an external hard drive or in the cloud. This allows recovery and business continuity should disaster strike.
Firewalls form a protective barrier between internal company systems and the internet. They prevent unauthorised external users from accessing things like employee emails, databases, websites and more. Keep firewall software up-to-date and properly configured.
Use Antivirus Software
Robust antivirus software is essential to catching malware, viruses, spyware and other malicious threats before they infiltrate devices and networks. Choose a reputable endpoint security provider to scan devices and issue timely threat updates.
Despite advanced security tools, employees present a major cybersecurity risk due to human error and social engineering susceptibility. Implement mandatory cybersecurity awareness training to teach employees how to spot phishing attempts, identify social engineering tricks, create strong passwords and uphold other vital habits.
Reinforcing positive cyber hygiene through company-wide adoption of these best practices significantly reduces the risk of attack and safeguards critical systems. For additional protections tailored to your unique needs, contact our IT department.