Since the Covid pandemic began, the word “hygiene” has ceased to be only for germaphobes and has become the holy grail of health.
Washing hands and wearing masks has become as normal as breathing (literally).
But did you know that your computer systems also need some love and hygienic attention?
Cyber hygiene is the new mantra to keep your data and networks healthy and safe from cyberattacks.
So, get ready to discover the 7 best practices that will help you keep your organization safe from cyber chaos. Because if your net fails, there is no disinfectant to save you.
Cyber hygiene keys to protect your data
1) Monitor and control your inventory as if you were Big Brother!
If you don’t know what you have, then you have no idea what you’re protecting.
To make sure your data is safer than Fort Knox, you need to keep a watchful eye on all the junk and software in your company.
Yes, even those devices brought by your enthusiastic employee on “Bring Your Own Device Day.”
Document everything from the software they use to the color of the cables.
If you detect suspicious software, sound the alarm and make sure to keep track of every hardware failure.
Don’t give cyber villains a break!
2) Don’t be a slacker, patch that software at once!
Did you know that outdated software is the “winter refuge” of cybercriminals?
According to a study (totally scientific, of course) conducted by the Ponemon Institute in 2020, 42% of data breaches were caused by the laziness of not applying available patches.
Hackers are out there looking for outdated software to sneak into your network.
Don’t welcome them!
You need a process that reviews and updates all your software in the background, without upsetting your brave end users.
3) Back up, don’t be a (data) loser!
Losing data is as painful as breaking a mirror with your head while an umbrella opens from your mouth (seven years of bad luck included).
Not only can users unintentionally delete files, there are also hardware issues, power outages, and those ruthless malware attacks.
Ransomware, for example, is like virtual hijacking, they ask you for ransom for your data! Save your company time, money and tears by making regular backups.
Automate the whole process to avoid human error and maintain a backup program with the precision of a Swiss watch!
4) Do not give permissions to anyone, be fussier than your father with culinary innovations!
Humans are the cause of 95% of cybersecurity problems, according to the prestigious “Obviously” World Institute.
So, if you don’t want your network to be as safe as an unlocked door, you need to carefully control who has access to what.
Manage user permissions as if you were a guardian of Death Star 4 who does not want the slaughter of 1, 2, and 3* to be repeated.
But wait, assigning permissions manually is a slow and boring process. Instead, use an IT management solution that does all the dirty work for you and automatically assigns usage rights.
*Yes, there is a third in the last Star Wars trilogy.
5) Say goodbye to “123456” and welcome strong passwords!
According to a (very scientific) survey conducted by Google in 2019, 65% of users use the same password for everything.
Even IT professionals are to blame for this digital laziness!
Do you want hackers to crash your network? Of course not.
Raise awareness among users about strong passwords and the importance of changing them regularly.
But come on, let’s face it, nobody likes to rack their brains thinking about complicated passwords and then forgetting them instantly. Use a password manager to automatically generate strong passwords and store them in an encrypted database.
6) Multi-Factor authentication for hackers to cry virtual tears!
Passwords are actually like play dough locks in the digital age, easy to open for evil hackers!
So don’t just rely on them to protect your data. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and make hackers rip off virtual hairs of frustration.
Ask users to verify their identity through different factors, such as one-time passwords sent by text or email, personal security questions, or even facial recognition.
Make hackers feel it’s easier to climb mount Everest with a pressure cooker on your head heating lentils than it is to get into your network!
7) Don’t play Russian cyber roulette, use a cybersecurity solution!
There are many cybersecurity options out there, but here are a few key points to consider:
Find a solution that can detect known and unknown threats. In addition, you need a solution that can automatically repair any infection and clean up any traces of malware. Make sure it’s compatible with all your devices and operating systems, because you don’t want to leave anyone unprotected. And of course, make sure it’s lightweight and doesn’t slow down your devices.
If you want to save time and effort, consider adopting a cybersecurity framework.
Rely on the collective wisdom of thousands of professionals and let their expertise guide you in implementing a robust cybersecurity program.
Because honestly, who has the time to reinvent the wheel of cybersecurity?
Remember, maintaining proper cyber hygiene does as much good as washing your hands after you’ve helped give birth to a cow in the herd.
So, follow these 7 golden keys and keep cybercriminals at bay.
Don’t let them infect you with the cybernetic neglect virus.
Your network and data will thank you!
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Dimas P.L., de la lejana y exótica Vega Baja, CasiMurcia, periodista, redactor, taumaturgo del contenido y campeón de espantar palomas en los parques. Actualmente resido en Madrid donde trabajo como paladín de la comunicación en Pandora FMS y periodista freelance cultural en cualquier medio que se ofrezca. También me vuelvo loco escribiendo y recitando por los círculos poéticos más profundos y oscuros de la ciudad.
Dimas P.L., from the distant and exotic Vega Baja, CasiMurcia, journalist, editor, thaumaturgist of content and champion of scaring pigeons in parks. I currently live in Madrid where I work as a communication champion in Pandora FMS and as a freelance cultural journalist in any media offered. I also go crazy writing and reciting in the deepest and darkest poetic circles of the city.