9 Tips To Help You Be Cyber Safe This October

Cyber Security Awareness Month is upon us! Break out the Halloween candy early and read to find out how you can keep your company safe from the real monsters out there.

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and hopefully this blog has helped you become more aware of how important cyber security is. It saves you money, and could save your company. This month, information-age.com and The Lastline Daily Dose have been releasing pro tips each week to help readers get the best advice you can. Here is a list of 9 tips on How To Be Secure In The Information Age:

The best defense against ransomware is a current backup that has “versioning,” which avoids restoring encrypted files. Backups are so important. If you get hacked, your data could be lost forever. With a backup, you have your data safe. Hopefully, it’s in an offsite location that is safe. If you do have malware-infected files, there are programs that can detect it and prevent you from restoring the same bad stuff you were just trying to avoid.

Don’t be a whale–Use email gateway to flag keywords used in Business Email Compromise attacks like “payment or “urgent”. A whale is a big target-someone who is about get get “phished”. Don’t be that guy. Filter your mail. Use mail rules to effectively get rid of unwanted junk. Be suspicious of mail with the keywords we all know are really spam, but be especially suspicious of unexpected mail, even if it’s from “Amazon” or your bank.

Avoid default, weak & reused passwords–Use a password manager to create unique, strong passwords for every account. Still using your wife’s birthday as your PIN? Still have your dog’s name as your password? Sounds like it’s time for a change. When password suggestions say “strong”, they mean strong. Something like EWj3-ff-g599EdrR (I really hope that’s not your password, I made it up on the spot I promise).

Add 2 factor authentication (2FA) to the services you use every day to reduce the risk of having your account compromised. It’s that text Google or Facebook sends you when you log in on a new computer. Maybe it’s annoying, but it’s so much more secure than just a regular username and password. Turn it on with every application you have, even if it seems redundant.

Keep email protection high on your priority list–Most breaches are caused by malicious email attachments. Like I mentioned before, it’s important to stay safe with your email. Spam and Junk mail are exactly that, junk. Phishing is not your Grandpa’s afternoon.

Criminals aren’t standing still, so you can’t either–Complete a risk assessment yearly & keep security controls updated. Vulnerability scanners are a great way to see what part of your system is most at risk for attack. Check out a great one here.

Prioritize cyber security, including at the board level. Highlight biz benes + financial & branding downside of a breach. Is your boss unsure about cyber security? Maybe he thinks it’s too expensive, or just has too many things going on to worry about it. Well, it’s a lot more important than that, and he NEEDS to worry about it. Check out some tips here.

Employees are your weak link–train, train, and train some more on detecting phishing and other social media attacks. Employees are a great asset too, and can be very helpful if they are trained. Teach them about phishing, how to stay safe online, about firewalls and multi-factor authentication. It will be a great investment for you and for them.

Make patching a high priority—Old vulnerabilities with an available patch cause more damage every day than zero-days. Don’t be a repeat of the worst cyber attack in history, the WannaCry Ransomware attacks. Companies lost billions of dollars, just because they forgot to install patches that had already been released. They are free and vital to your security.

Hope you enjoyed the tips, and took them to heart. Help your company stay safe, and the benefits will far outweigh the costs.