Cyber Hygiene

What is Cyber hygiene?

This refers to the actions you can take to ensure that your operating systems aren’t vulnerable to malicious software or cyber threats.

Proper cyber hygiene is much like personal hygiene in that it can help maintain system health and prevent computer viruses from breaching your network.

Why is Cyber Hygiene Important?

Without good cyber hygiene practices, you put your personal or sensitive data at risk, and you’ll see more security breaches.

Poor cyber hygiene is bad for business and only increases your cyber risk. The result: misplaced data, data loss, and countless security issues. By maintaining cyber hygiene best practices, you can have the best possible security posture and protect sensitive data.

Common Cyber Hygiene Problems

Here are some of the cybersecurity hygiene issues that people commonly face:

  • Data breaches. Companies find themselves losing personal data after their networks have been compromised.
  • Unauthorized users on the network. When unauthorized people end up on the network, they can sometimes bring viruses through their mobile devices and other personal devices.
  • Phishing attacks. These can be as varied as fishing itself. These are the most common types of social engineering attacks and include email, spear, whaling, smishing/vishing, and angler phishing. They all help hackers to gain access to your password through remote access and install data wiping software or other malicious software.
  • Hackers finding security gaps. Failure to update software applications regularly can lead to critical vulnerabilities within the system. It’s important to note that software creators come up with patches and regularly update software as a way to provide better data protection to all connected devices and cloud-connected devices that use those applications.
  • Password issues. A weak password is easy to guess or discover. You’d be shocked at how quickly hackers can slip past password defenses using their software programs. If you want to keep your data safe, you must follow a cyber hygiene policy.
  • Other security incidents. When employees don’t keep online security top of mind, hackers can come in through cloud storage, web browsers, or through any number of other online security issues. Network devices won’t be safe unless you enact security controls to protect your company.

How to Practice Cyber Hygiene

Here is a cyber hygiene checklist to help get you started in your cyber hygiene routine:

  • Install antivirus software and firewalls. Installing antivirus software will enable your system to prevent malware software from breaching your system. Network firewalls are built to do the same.
  • Update with security patches often. You should patch your security software as well as any applications you use, including online cloud storage applications.
  • Use complex passwords. Strong passwords are harder to break. If you can use multi-factor authentication, that’s an even better solution.
  • Put an incident response plan into place. Don’t wait until disaster strikes your company to plan to protect your computers and other devices from being corrupted. Use a pre-established plan to mitigate risk.
  • Teach employees basic cyber hygiene. Security awareness training is a great way to keep cyber security top of mind for your employees.

Some of the challenges of maintaining good cyber hygiene are the complexity of IT environments, the endless upkeep, and creating buy-in from your employees. Awareness levels decrease over time, and some employees may not see the point of the actions listed above.

Why Choose Threat Alliance?

At Threat Alliance, we are cybersecurity professionals who have over ten years of experience monitoring IT and making it as difficult as possible for hackers to go into a network and modify system files.

We can identify vulnerabilities within your system and can advise you on network segmentation, multi-factor authentication, and the other security measures we mentioned above.

If you’d like to start creating an action plan for your online hygiene, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us today for more information.