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    Best Cyber Hygiene Policies and Practices to Enhance Your Digital Security

    The importance of using cyber hygiene best practices in the workplace cannot be understated. Without it, a company is left open to cyber-attacks, which can result in devastating consequences, including stolen data and financial loss. The negative impact of a successful cyber-attack far outweighs the effort required to improve cyber hygiene.


    What is Cyber Hygiene?

    Cyber hygiene refers to the practices and measures organizations adopt to safeguard their digital assets, data, and online activities. Maintaining such practices is critical to mitigate the risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches. 

    When aiming to improve a business’ cyber hygiene policies, there are certain standards that must be considered in order to garner the best results.


    Educate and Train 

    Knowledge is the first line of defense in avoiding and responding to cyber-attacks. From recognizing phishing attacks to understanding password best practices, it is important to arm staff with the tools and knowledge needed to detect threats.

    Some measures businesses should invest in include setting strong password policies, as well as using up-to-date antivirus software and a password manager

    Implement Strong Authentication 

    Passwords alone are no longer sufficient to protect sensitive accounts and data. Many malware attacks don’t require a password at all in order to gain access, and cybercriminals are able to easily steal passwords using bots and malicious applications.

    Implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to verify their identity through more than one method. Often this will involve inputting a code, sent to another device owned by the user. These codes must never be given to anyone, internally or externally, to avoid MFA being circumvented by particularly advanced tools


    Keep Software Up-to-Date 

    Regularly updating software, operating systems, and applications is crucial for addressing weaknesses and patching security flaws. Outdated software does not contain the highest-quality security measures available, and malicious actors often exploit this vulnerability to gain unauthorized access or deploy malware. 

    Enabling automatic updates will ensure that company systems are equipped with the latest security patches, making it more secure against attacks.


    Backup Your Data 

    Data loss can be devastating to business operations, whether due to a cyber-attack, hardware failure, or human error. Financial costs, loss of consumer trust, and legal consequences can all follow. Implementing a robust data backup strategy is essential to mitigate the impact of such incidents. 

    It is highly recommended to backup critical data to both on-site premises and to a secure, off-site environment (for example, the cloud). This ensures swift recovery, and reduces the impact on company operations, in the event of a security breach. It also lessens the impact of ransomware attacks, which primarily function by holding data hostage.


    Secure Your Network 

    Securing network infrastructure is fundamental to maintaining cyber hygiene. Utilize virtual private networks (VPNs) to prevent cybercriminals from targeting IPs associated with the business, and use next-generation firewalls to block malware. 

    Encrypting network traffic adds an extra layer of protection, ensuring that sensitive information remains confidential. The development of a strong security-first culture will ensure all staff utilize these tools efficiently. 


    Conduct Regular Security Audits

    Assessing cybersecurity standards and frameworks through thorough audits is essential for identifying weaknesses before they lead to a data breach. Regular penetration testing, vulnerability scanning, and risk assessments make it easier to proactively identify and address potential security threats before they can be exploited.


    Protect Critical Company Data with Security Experts

    Enhancing cyber hygiene is a complicated endeavor that requires proactive measures, continuous education, and vigilance. By adopting these key practices, organizations can bolster their defenses and mitigate the risk of cyber threats. 

    Are you concerned about your cyber hygiene - or that you are throwing money away on security software that may not be working? ThreatAdvice’s flagship breach prevention platform is designed from the top down to fortify the defenses of small businesses against cyber-attacks. Book a consultation today, to find out how we can help you improve your cyber hygiene and bolster your defenses.