Tips for Improving Your Cyber Hygiene

June 15, 2023 |

Digital cleaning is a great way to strengthen and improve your cyber hygiene. Security risks have evolved over time and will continue to do so, which means ensuring your security posture advances with the threat landscape is critical for individuals and organizations alike. In the same way we organize and declutter our homes, there’s many ways to make sure our data is continuously cleaned up and safe online.

“Security isn’t something you can do once and forget about—it’s a continuous practice,” said Senior Consultant Larry Kinkaid. “At the end of every piece of online data is a real person, and it’s important to become educated and empower yourself to take control of your online identity.”

To help you get started, we’ve outlined what steps individuals and organizations can take to improve their cybersecurity posture.

Decluttering Your Online Presence 

It’s all about awareness. As simple as it sounds, being aware of your online presence can make a big difference. For example, if you’re using public wifi at a local coffee shop, it’s best not to enter in your banking details. Or, when typing your credit card information into a website, double-check that your internet connection is encrypted.

Additionally, individuals can take the following steps to protect themselves online:

  • Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) 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.

Tips for Tidying Up Your Organization’s Security Program

Preventing data breaches and security incidents requires thoughtful efforts to prioritize data security. While there are many resources available for organizations when it comes to improving  security posture, here’s a few tips to help simplify the process.

“The biggest piece of advice I give to clients is to implement role-based access. These controls allow companies to align access and privileges based on their individual roles, providing a more streamlined and secure process to ensure there are no individuals with inappropriate access rights,” said Teddy VanGalen, senior associate for BARR’s cybersecurity consulting practice.

Additionally, your organization can: 

  • 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 posture.
  • Build a culture of security within your organization. This may include ensuring  someone in your organization “owns” security. Defining accountability is critical.
  • Use multi-factor authentication (MFA), which 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, enable encryption wherever possible. This is a simple and affordable security practice that can protect your data in the event of a security incident.

“Small steps can lead to big success,” added Kinkaid. “Staying aware and thinking of digital cleaning as an ongoing practice can help you and your organization clean up your online presence and improve overall cyber hygiene.”

BARR’s cybersecurity consulting team is dedicated to guiding you through digital cleaning practices as well as helping you develop a strong security program. Interested in learning more? Contact us today.

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