Spring is finally here! As the days begin to warm up and flowers start to bloom, plenty of people are preparing for an annual deep clean of their space. While you’re at it, there’s no better time to do a digital spring cleaning to strengthen and improve your overall cyber hygiene, too. To help you prepare, we sat down with Senior Consultant Zack Wash to discuss the importance of taking cybersecurity seriously and what steps individuals and organizations alike can take to improve their cybersecurity posture.
Zack, why is it important to continuously stay on top of your security practices online?
Millions of people and organizations are unaware how their data is used online everyday. Security isn’t something that you can do once and forget about—it’s a continuous practice. Over time, threat actors and risks have grown and evolved, and will continue to do so. Your cybersecurity posture has to grow and evolve to match the ever-increasing threat landscape. While the practices we’ll discuss may be enough to keep you secure, you must be prepared to implement new best practices whenever they emerge.
What are immediate actions that an individual could take today to protect themselves online?
Awareness! As simple as it sounds, simply being cognizant while being online can make a big difference. Are you using public WiFi? Maybe don’t enter your banking details while at the local coffee shop. Does the website you’re about to enter your credit card information on have a secure lock icon at the top and begin with https rather than http? It’s important to check and be aware of whether or not your connection is encrypted.
Additionally, I’d also advise individuals to take the following steps:
- Implement multi-factor authentication on all of your accounts.
- Use a password manager to safely store your credentials.
- Update your software and devices regularly.
- Check your privacy settings on social media.
What are some immediate actions an organization can take to improve their security posture online?
There are plenty of guides available with every detailed step an organization should take to improve their cybersecurity posture. Here are some basic steps to simplify the process::
- Establish and communicate your cybersecurity standards. Regardless of your organization’s size, having strong governance and accessible security standards is a great first step for strengthening your cybersecurity overall.
- Cybersecurity starts with culture, so make sure someone in your organization “owns” security. Defining accountability is critical.
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA) has proven over and over to be effective at protecting your accounts.
- Schedule regular penetration testing and vulnerability assessments to gain visibility in your network and encourage communication between security and development teams.
- Lastly, encryption! This is a simple and affordable security practice that can protect your data in the event of a security incident.
Zack concluded with the following message: “It’s important to remember that behind every piece of data is a real person who may be less secure because of a breach. That’s why it’s important to educate and empower people to take control of their online security without using fear tactics.”
Interested in learning more about how to implement the best cybersecurity practices? Contact us today.