Regardless of the type of business, you are working within it's extremely likely that you utilize the internet in some way. Although one of the best resources in our lifetime, the internet can pose a huge threat to your organization. As a means to combat that threat, it's important that you take and implement certain precautions towards a safe and secure environment. We've taken the time to list 7 steps towards a better cyber security environment.
1. CREATE HACKER-RESISTANT PASSWORDS
A strong password should be a number one priority for not only you but everyone in your organization. No two passwords should be the same so that, if a breach should happen, hackers cannot access more than one account in your name. It is recommended that you create a password string that is anywhere from 8-30 characters long containing 1 symbol, (!$%@!) 1 lowercase letter, and one uppercase letter.
2. ENABLE TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION
Two-factor authentication is a newer technique to keep your data secure but it's caught on very quickly. Two-factor combines two or more independent credentials in order to log in. An example of this would be requiring the user's password and a security token, which is normally sent to the user's mobile phone.
3. EMAIL ATTACHED PROTECTION
We constantly hear of companies and employees clicking on unsafe email attachments. If you don't already, you should be utilizing a well-known attachment protection tool. The best email attachment protection tools open emails in a "sandbox" area so that it can ensure that the content is clean before you view it.
4. EMAIL SPAM PROTECTION TECHNOLOGY
This one is a no-brainer. Although the government has cracked down on a lot of spam since they implemented the CAN-SPAM act of 2003, email spam is still prevalent. Similar to email attachment protection, email spam protection technology is a must. If you are shopping around for this type of protection, ensure that spam protection technology has anti-spoofing capabilities.
5. ENSURE 24X7X365 MONITORING
One of the most interesting concepts is that hackers don't work during normal business hours. To combat this, your organization should have an implemented monitoring service that provides coverage and protecting 24x7x365 so that immediate action can be taken if necessary.
6. KEEP ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE UPDATED
First, if you haven't implemented antivirus software on your employee's devices, make that a priority. Once installed, make certain that these anti-malware programs frequently check for updates so that your employees never fall behind and become insecure. Bonus points if you schedule set device scanning and updating times.
7. MINIMIZE ADMINISTRATOR PRIVILEGES
Running your computer in administrator mode gives the logged in user more access to different types of programs and information. Allowing workstations to run in administrator mode exposes that machine to more security threats. In order to stay safe, only allow administrative privileges to the necessary people.
After you've implemented the 7 steps within our checklist you will be more secure and safe from cyber attacks. However, it doesn't stop there, implementing a sound cyber security readiness program can help prepare and combat your entire organization.