Cybersecurity Best Practices
With more people working online, cybersecurity best practices are essential for any organization. Understanding how to avoid spam, phishing attacks, and data breaches can protect you, your data, and your business moving forward. Let’s break down some common cybersecurity threats and how to protect yourself against them by following cybersecurity’s best practices.
Related Blog: Common Cybersecurity Threats to Small Businesses
1. Password Security Best Practices
One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself online is to choose strong passwords and never reuse them. A strong password contains at least 16 characters including a mix of numbers, special characters, uppercase letters, and lowercase letters. Avoid using easily guessed words, phrases, or personal information, like your birthdate or a family name.
It's also crucial to never use the same password for multiple logins. If any account using a repeated password becomes compromised, then so do other accounts with the same credentials. Instead of repeating passwords, consider using a password management app or two-factor authentication to enhance your cybersecurity posture.
2. Data Breaches and Cybersecurity
Data breaches often have disastrous consequences for both businesses and individuals. The breach of clients’ financial or personal data can significantly affect your organization’s reputation and bottom line. If you suspect your company has suffered a data breach, then don’t hesitate to act at once.
First, make sure each password in your organization is changed right away. Remember to avoid reusing old passwords whenever possible. Next, figure out which data was accessed and whether customer data was affected by the breach. Data breaches carry a high financial and reputational cost for companies, so don’t forget to notify any affected parties.
3. Follow Spam Filtering Best Practices
Spam filtering is important to protect yourself from malicious emails. Many email providers have built-in filters that can prevent most of these unwanted emails from reaching your inbox. However, these filters aren't perfect, and some spam emails may still slip through occasionally.
If an email looks suspicious, then simply delete it and report it to your IT administrator right away. Common signs of a malicious email include misspellings, a generic greeting, grammatical errors, and urgent requests for personal information.
4. Phishing and Cybersecurity
Phishing occurs when someone sends an email pretending to be from a legitimate source. The sender's goal is to try and get users' personal information such as login credentials or credit card numbers. To protect against phishing, here are some simple best practices to follow.
- Don't click on any links sent via email unless you verify the source.
- Avoid opening attachments from unknown sources.
- Double-check the sender’s identity before sharing sensitive information.
- Delete and report suspicious emails without opening them.
5. Prevent Malware Installation
Malware (malicious software) refers to any program or code intended to access another device without authorization. It’s generally installed without the user's knowledge with the goal of stealing personal data. The most common types of malware include viruses, adware, spyware, and ransomware.
To reduce the threat of malware, it’s important to install all system updates, as they often feature improved security protocols. Don’t forget to maintain strong passwords, two-factor authentication, anti-malware software, and firewalls on all computers connected to the internet.
6. Avoid Denial-of-Service Attacks
A denial-of-service (DoS) attack occurs when someone tries to make a website or network unavailable by suddenly flooding it with fake traffic. Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are similar but involve multiple devices to cause even greater harm. Hackers use these attacks to disable organizations, steal information, and take control of computers in the targeted network.
Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication, monitor network traffic trends, and install intrusion detection systems to avoid DoS and DDoS attacks. Always perform regular data backups to prevent data loss from these attacks, and consider partnering with a managed service provider who specializes in DoS mitigation.
Follow Cybersecurity Best Practices within Your Organization
Strong cybersecurity protocols are now a necessity for all modern businesses. You should scan your networks and applications regularly, always use strong passwords for all accounts, and even consider setting up strict access controls. These steps will increase your organization’s cybersecurity posture and significantly decrease the risk posed by cyber threats.
If you’re concerned about your organization’s IT setup, then please schedule a call or contact us online today. We’ll gladly safeguard your data and develop a security solution tailored to your unique needs.