Cybersecurity is vital in today’s digital landscape. The recent increase in cloud environment adoption and interconnected systems has made individuals, businesses, and governments more susceptible to cyber threats. But there are common best practices you may already have in place, that can be utilized to help protect against cyberattacks and safeguard the privacy and trust of users and customers in the digital environment.
- Strong Passwords and Authentication:
The use of passwords is not a new concept, but ensuring the use of strong passwords is now essential. Requiring 16 characters, a combination of letters and numbers, and at a minimum, requiring password changes quarterly is now a Cybersecurity Best Practice. If the overhead to maintain these policies becomes burdensome, consider implementing a password manager to generate and store passwords securely.
- Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA)
MFA is becoming another instrumental Cybersecurity Best Practice and should be used wherever possible to add an extra layer of security. Many solutions and devices are equipped to implement this by utilizing your existing Identity Management solution.
- Regular Software Updates:
Keeping operating systems software and applications up to date with the latest security patches might be one of the oldest Best Practices around and has not lost its importance. Enabling automatic updates to ensure you’re protected against known vulnerabilities and attacks. Many antivirus solutions update daily, but just as users can override operating systems updates, many cyber tools can be overridden by users if not set up correctly. Setting up alerts or verifying devices are continually being updated could prevent many known cyberattacks.
- Phishing Awareness:
No amount of preventative efforts can prevent a cyberattack if users are not educated about the danger of imposter emails and messages containing links, even when appearing to be from unknown sources. It still amazes admins how many of these emails, and text messages, fool users every day. One of the most essential Cybersecurity Best Practices that could improve the risk of cyberattacks for everyone is ensuring every individual understands these risks, how to go directly to a source website, account, etc.
- Backups and Incident Response
Backing up data is a common best practice in preventing data loss. The evolution of backing up data has moved it to cloud solutions. Whether utilizing an on-prem data server, cloud solution, or service; ensuring your data is encrypted could prevent an attacker from holding your data hostage. And regularly testing backups could allow for faster incident response and recovery efforts.
Although cybersecurity can be intimidating, its evolution in best practices is imperative to the evolution of technology and our ability to effectively utilize it. Applying and improving upon cybersecurity in our day-to-day personal and business tasks can help improve cybersecurity and provide a safer digital environment for everyone.
Merrilee Maxon is the Cyber Compliance Services Manager for Cybernet’s cybersecurity division. She supports cybersecurity and our Defense Industrial Base customers in obtaining compliance with DoD, Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), and other standard cybersecurity accreditations, as well as help them anticipate future requirements.