7 Best Cybersecurity Practices

  1. Avoid Phishing

Phishing has gotten increasingly sophisticated, sending tech-savvy people ostensibly legitimate links and pop-up ads. Don’t email any sensitive information unless you are sure of the recipient, and don’t click on any links unless you are sure they are legitimate. 

One of the ways that hackers get into systems is through malicious emails. Inevitably, emails are an essential mode of communication in any organization. It’s considered a secure way to pass information to teams, suppliers, investors, and other stakeholders. It also creates a record that can be followed for clarifications. Cybercriminals are aware of these facts, and they usually send emails that mimic emails from reputable companies only to infect computers and systems with malware when they’re opened.

A malware attack can allow a hacker to spy on users and access, steal, or manipulate data. They then use the compromised data to demand ransom to release company data or sell it in underground data markets. Such an attack has damaging effects on any business. With remote work, communication on email has increased, making businesses more prone to phishing attacks. However, proper security awareness training can reduce these incidents significantly as every remote worker will be more careful.

Phishing attacks through email can be spotted by checking spelling errors on the sender’s email address or the subject line. If the email is opened by any chance, they should be careful not to click on any links and open or download any attachments.

  1. Regular Patching

Patch Management should be a key part of your cybersecurity strategy. New vulnerabilities are discovered all the time and unless patches are applied, hackers will exploit these vulnerabilities to gain access to your network.

A patch is essentially a piece of code that is installed into an existing software program to correct a problem or to improve an application’s general stability. It’s essential in keeping machines up to date, stable, and safe from malware and other threats.

Patching is estimated to prevent up to 85% of all cyber-attacks so it’s vital your organization applies these patches as soon as they become available. Failure to do so could be catastrophic for your business.

  1. Form a Cybersecurity Policy

 A written policy serves as a formal guide to all cybersecurity measures used in your company. 

It allows your security specialists and employees to be on the same page and gives you a way to enforce rules that protect your data. However, the workflow of each department can be unique and can easily be disrupted by needless cybersecurity measures.

While a centralized security policy can be beneficial as a basic guideline for the whole company, it shouldn’t cover every process in every department. Instead, allow your departments to create their own security policies based on the central policy.

Additionally, it is necessary to also come up with a response plan. Many businesses, particularly SMEs, are slow to respond and disorganized when it comes to identifying and responding to an attack, an issue that can greatly influence the amount of damage – physical, financial and reputational – that is suffered as a result. As soon as an attack or breach happens, you need to know who’s responsible for making decisions and setting a response plan in motion. It’s also vital to know who you need to contact for legal, IT forensic and public relations advice, as well as how you’ll approach communicating with customers. 

Having cyber insurance in place can also be invaluable to cover any legal costs and compensation you have to pay, as well as your own out-of-pocket expenses as a result of an attack. Cybersecurity is one of those areas where people often don’t understand the value of taking certain precautions until it’s too late – and then they wish they had done more. 

  1. Invest in Security Systems

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new world order – one in which almost everyone has remote workers as employees. This has increased the threat to sensitive information and the risk perimeter of businesses tremendously. Investing in good IT support solutions with digital protection against potential security threats only makes sense right now. It also makes sense to enlist services such as virtual CISOs and assess where your business stands in terms of cyber resilience. 

Smaller businesses might hesitate when considering the cost of investing in a quality security system. That usually includes protections such as strong antivirus and malware detection, external hard drives that backup data, and running regular system checks. But making that investment early could save companies and employees from the possible financial and legal costs of being breached.

All of the devices you use at work and at home should have the protection of strong security software. It’s important for your company to provide data security in the workplace, but alert your IT department or Information Security manager if you see anything suspicious that might indicate a security issue. There may be a flaw in the system that the company needs to patch or fix. The quicker you report an issue, the better.

  1. Encryption 

Is your organization protected? When we refer to encryption, we’re talking about the security method where information is encoded and can only be accessed or decrypted with the correct encryption key. Ensure encryption is part of your corporate policy. If laptops are lost or stolen, encryption ensures company-owned laptops have pre-boot encryption installed. Buy hard drives and USB drives with encryption built in. Use strong encryption on your wireless network (consider WPA2 or WPA3 with AES encryption). Protect your data from eavesdroppers by encrypting wireless communication using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Ensure web applications are utilizing the latest version of TLS to protect data in transit. Confirm data is encrypted while at rest for critical or sensitive information stored in a database, backups, and storage systems.

  1. Use Anti-Virus Protection & Firewall

Anti-virus (AV) protection software has been the most prevalent solution to fight malicious attacks. AV software blocks malware and other malicious viruses from entering your device and compromising your data. Use anti-virus software from trusted vendors and only run one AV tool on your device.

Using a firewall is also important when defending your data against malicious attacks. A firewall helps screen out hackers, viruses, and other malicious activity that occurs over the Internet and determines what traffic is allowed to enter your device. Windows and Mac OS X both come with their respective firewalls, aptly named Windows Firewall and Mac Firewall. Your router should also have a firewall built in to prevent attacks on your network.

  1. Monitoring Remote Sessions

With more employees working from home, companies are seeking ways of monitoring remote sessions. One compelling case can be made for recording remote sessions for later playback and review. Employers are concerned that in the event of a security breach, they won’t be able to see what was happening on users’ desktops when the breach occurred. Another reason for recording remote sessions is to maintain compliance, as required for medical and financial institutions or auditing for business protocols, etc.

TSFactory’s RecordTS v6 will record Windows remote sessions reliably and securely for RDS, Citrix and VMware systems. Scalable from small offices with one server to enterprise networks with tens of thousands of desktops and servers, RecordTS integrates seamlessly with the native environment.