Cybersecurity is more important than ever in today's workplace. With the increasing reliance on technology in both our personal and professional lives, the risk of cyber-attacks continues to increase exponentially. Every day we read articles of cyber-attacks exploiting corporate or government organizations out of large sums of money, tarnishing their reputation, and even leaving their sensitive data exposed for further exploitations. Corporate and government breaches are covered widely in mainstream media, but that doesn’t mean they are the only targets of cyber-attacks.
While many large businesses have been breached, small and medium sized businesses are an easier target for hackers because of their lack of resources and security expertise. According to Accenture’s cost of Cybercrime Study, 43% of cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses, but only 14% are prepared to defend themselves.
So, what’s really happening here? Aren’t organizations spending more money on cybersecurity than ever before? That's correct. However, the challenge lies in the vulnerabilities that traditional cybersecurity strategies can miss. And, while more traditional cybersecurity solutions and strategies will continue to be effective moving into today’s highly sophisticated digital age, it is also fundamental that employees (and all end-users) have a baseline understanding of how they can be the frontline for a hacker to successfully breach a business.
Rather than focusing on the implementation of a few piecemeal cybersecurity tools to keep employees and organizations protected, we’ve put together a list of 11 basic cybersecurity tips that you can share with your employees and colleagues today to help keep your organization protected. Let’s dig in.
A strong password is a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters that is at least 8 characters long. Avoid using easily guessable information, such as your name or birthdate, in your passwords. Also, make sure to change your passwords regularly, at least every three months.
Phishing scams are a common way for hackers to gain access to sensitive information. Be wary of emails that ask for personal information or contain links or attachments that seem suspicious. If you're unsure about the legitimacy of an email, it's best to err on the side of caution and not click on any links or attachments. Watch this short video to learn how to recognize phishing emails.
Software updates often include security patches that address known vulnerabilities. Make sure to keep all of your software, including your operating system and any applications you use, up to date to ensure that you have the latest security features. Techmedics managed systems and servers are proactively updated on a regular basis, however any personal devices or other devices that are not being managed by Techmedics should also be updated on a regular basis.
Although a virtual private network (VPN) service can provide an additional layer of security when accessing the internet from a remote location, they are often cumbersome to use and heavily impact productivity. Often times, employees bypass a VPN service because of this reason. Find out if you really need a VPN in this blog post. Instead of adding a layer of complexity, we advise using only known trusted WIFI connections, or your personal hotspot on your mobile device when working outside of the office.
Avoid sharing sensitive information, such as login credentials or personal information, over email or social media. Instead, use a secure platform, such as a password manager or Microsoft Teams, to share sensitive information. Go ahead and remove your middle name, birthdate, location, work email address, or other Personally Identifiable Information (PII) from social media and websites, pronto.
Anti-virus and anti-malware software can help to protect your computer against malware and other cyber threats. Make sure to keep your anti-virus and anti-malware software up to date and run regular scans to check for any potential issues. If you’re on a Techmedics managed system with Cybersecurity Essentials enabled, our team will already have these tools installed on your device and running scans on a regular basis. But, for unmanaged systems, this is extremely important to implement!
Social engineering is a tactic that hackers use to trick people into giving up sensitive information. Be aware of common social engineering tactics, such as pretexting, phishing, and baiting, and take steps to protect yourself. Learn how to spot social engineering here.
Public Wi-Fi networks can be a breeding ground for hackers. Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi networks and avoid accessing sensitive information or making financial transactions while connected to them.
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts. This method requires users to provide two forms of identification, such as a password and a fingerprint or a password and a one-time code sent to your phone, before gaining access to an account. Learn how MFA can help defend your organization.
Cybersecurity is a collective responsibility, and it's important for everyone in an organization to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect themselves and the company. Encourage your colleagues to take cybersecurity seriously, and provide them with the resources they need to stay safe online. Please share this article with your employees and colleagues to make sure that they are aware of what we would consider the baseline for cybersecurity training.
Setting up protective measures, although valuable, simply aren't enough sometimes. Using third party solutions to backup your data, provide disaster recovery capabilities and offer validated data restoration from backups is key. If you want to take an additional step to truly ensure your data is safe, consider backing data up to immutable storage, where data is protected from ransomware attack as it cannot be deleted, corrupted or overwritten from an outside source. If all else fails, you can restore your lost data from a backup. This can at the very least help to avoid downtime and business interruptions.
By following these cybersecurity tips, employees can help to protect themselves and their employers from cyber attacks. However, it's important to remember that cybersecurity is an ongoing process and that threats are constantly evolving. Staying informed and being vigilant are crucial to staying safe online. Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed when it comes to practical cybersecurity information for all businesses.
Interested in learning how Techmedics can help protect your business from cyberattacks? Speak with one of our helpful staff today!
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