In today’s digital age, taking cyber security seriously is crucial. Cyber threats can come from anywhere, and they can cause severe damage to individuals and organizations alike. Following some best practices is essential to protect yourself and your sensitive information. Here are ten tips that you should be aware of to reduce your risk of becoming a victim of cyber threats:
Cyber Security Safety Tip 1 – No one is immune to cyber attacks.
Every organization, regardless of size or industry, is now a target of cyber criminals. Small businesses, education, municipalities, and other types of organizations are no longer safe from cyber attacks.
Cyber Security Safety Tip 2: Cyber Security is a journey, not a destination.
IT environments are constantly changing, and the number of ways that hackers can attack has increased significantly over the years. Hackers can exploit numerous potential entry points to gain access to sensitive data. As a result, businesses must remain vigilant and continually assess their cyber security posture to ensure that there are no weaknesses in their networks.
Cyber Security Safety Tip 3: Humans are the weakest link.
A study conducted by the World Economic Forum revealed that 95% of cybersecurity problems are caused by human error. Educating employees on current cyber attack trends and basic cyber security practices, such as using strong passwords and identifying phishing scams, is crucial. Additionally, understanding how data is collected, and digital identities are tracked online can greatly enhance cybersecurity measures.
Cyber Security Safety Tip 4: Apply multilayered security across all attack surfaces.
To ensure comprehensive security, we need to adopt a multilayered approach. This means protecting all possible attack surfaces, including applications, cloud infrastructure, identity management systems, endpoints, networks, and others. Cyber attackers often use a systematic approach to exploit these vectors and gain unauthorized access. They employ tactics such as account takeover, email compromise, lateral movement, and persistent access to ensure continued access even after the initial entry point is patched.
Cyber Security Safety Tip 5: Keep software up to date.
In the first quarter of 2022, the National Vulnerability Database recorded a total of 8,051 vulnerabilities, marking a 25 percent increase compared to the same period last year. If this trend continues, it will lead to a slight year-on-year growth from the approximately 22,000 vulnerabilities published in 2021.
Hackers often target software vulnerabilities to exploit them. To safeguard against such attacks, keeping your software, operating systems, and third-party applications up to date is essential.
Cyber Security Safety Tip 6: Be careful of phishing.
Phishing attacks are still among the most used tactics by cyber criminals to launch their attacks. Regardless of the type of phishing, whether it’s an email, a social media message, a web link, or an SMS, it’s crucial to ensure that users double-check the links before clicking or entering their login information.
Cyber Security Safety Tip 7: Use multi-factor authentication.
With the increase in stolen credentials sold on the dark web, users must adopt an additional layer of authentication for identity verification. Multi-factor authentication is a security technique that involves using multiple factors, such as passwords, security tokens, and biometric verification, to confirm a user’s identity during login. This approach provides a layered security framework that helps to protect data and applications from unauthorized access and reduces the risk of cyber-attacks.
Cyber Security Safety Tip 8: Monitor your environment.
Continuous network monitoring can detect threats early and limit damage from cyber attacks by preventing the spread to other areas.
Cyber Security Safety Tip 9: Backup your data
It’s no longer a question of ‘if’ but rather ‘when’ an attack will occur. To ensure that your data is available and protected, practicing the 3-2-1 backup rule is essential. This strategy significantly increases the likelihood of your data being properly duplicated and available for recovery. The approach consists of:
- Three copies of the data: The original and two duplicate versions in case one of the backup options becomes corrupted, lost, or stolen.
- Two storage types are being used in the event of a failed backup or recovery.
- One copy is stored away from your home or business in case there’s a disaster that damages or destroys the property.
Testing and validating the backups is crucial to ensure their effectiveness regularly. This step is equally important as other steps in the disaster recovery process.
Cyber Security Safety Tip 10: Create and practice an incident response plan.
Having an incident response plan in place is crucial to reducing the impact of an attack, addressing vulnerabilities, and securing the organization in a coordinated manner. With a plan in place, the organization can effectively utilize its manpower, tools, and resources to efficiently address the issue and minimize the impact on other operations. This ensures that the organization can respond to incidents promptly and effectively, thereby minimizing damage and getting back to normal operations as quickly as possible.
Where do you go from here?
Is safety and security a concern for your organization? Let Commonwealth Sentinel assist in reducing risks and ensuring everyone’s well-being. Our range of services encompasses software and hardware solutions, training, and policy implementation. We offer a complimentary and confidential consultation with our advisors to discuss your concerns. This service is entirely free and could provide you with valuable insights. To schedule a consultation, click on the link here, or you may contact us at (502) 320-9885.