Cybersecurity ‘Resolutions’ for 2017

 

In 2017 cyber security will be a top priority for businesses everywhere, so let's all start the year off more securely with these New Year Cybersecurity Resolutions from our security experts.


As we approach the Internet of Things (IoT) era, cyber security battles will become more complex and increasingly favor criminals thanks to the increased avenues and entry points of attack on our networks.With the average data breach costing victim companies $6.5 million, there are few issues facing business leaders today that present a greater risk than cybercrimes. Across the globe, the current estimated annual cost of cyber-attacks exceeds $40 billion and is expected to grow to $2.1 trillion by 2019.

No business is without risk entirely, but mitigating the level of risk should be a top goal of every business owner.  Our security experts share their top recommended cybersecurity practices to keep businesses safer and more secure in today's digital world.  We consider them our ‘Cyber-Security Resolutions:

Make these tried and true cybersecurity practices part of your 2017 goals:  

  • Cybersecurity goal 1: Every employee should have their own user profiles and assigned unique logins for every application. Protect all logins with strong passwords that change every 6 to 12 weeks – max. Never write down passwords on paper (and especially not placed under keyboards or posted on monitors). Instead, use a password manager app to remember all your passwords for you. There are dozens available online – many are free to use.
  • Cybersecurity goal 2: Create a culture around good cybersecurity habits. Stay up to date on best practices, latest malware attacks and current online scams (e.g., phishing, social engineering, ransomware). Inform your staff so they can keep their eyes out for anything suspicious. For more information and free training go to us-cert.gov  (Department of Homeland Security’s United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team).
  • Cybersecurity goal 3: Never save critical or confidential data on your PC. Company data should always be stored on a centralized server or location. We strongly recommend implementing an enterprise-grade, off-site backup solution for your company’s data files.
  • Cybersecurity goal 4: Adopt a sound privacy policy and make protecting sensitive data part of the company culture. Every time employees leave their desk they should lock/log off their computers. Configure screensavers to require a password upon return.  If you outsource any sensitive or critical process,  or store data offsite, make sure you vet third party vendor’s security practices. Ultimately, it is you and your business that is responsible for this data so ensure the third party vendor is secure.
  • Cybersecurity goal 5: Use a good firewall and a VERY secure wireless network. Wireless networks have become a weakness in today’s enterprise networks, so make sure proper security protocols are in place when designing.
  • Cybersecurity goal 6: Keep computers updated with a centralized server to reduce the time and effort it takes to do this individually. Automate ubiquitous OS and application patching to promote consistency in software and security patches amongst all devices.
  • Cybersecurity goal 7: Last, but certainly not least, keep antivirus and spyware up-to-date. Only download software from known trusted sources. Neglecting these best practices will result in networks infected with viruses, spyware, and other malicious software or worse: leave the company exposed to Ransomware, Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS), Zero-Day Exploits, Internet of Things (IoT) Hijacking.

The New Year offers us all an occasion to reflect and contemplate on our list of goals for 2017; from healthier lifestyles to career and personal development ambitions. Protecting your business in the digital world should be the number one cybersecurity, self-improvement effort on everyone’s list of resolutions. Here's to to safer and more secure online habits and cybersecurity practices throughout 2017!

 

  1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevemorgan/2016/01/17/cyber-crime-costs-projected-to-reach-2-trillion-by-2019/#7240bc403bb0 
  2. https://www.us-cert.gov/security-publications/protect-your-workforce-campaign#work

 

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