When was the last time you gave your IT environment a “Health Check”? As businesses have taken all precautions possible to reopen responsibly during the COVID-19 pandemic, employee health and workplace sanitization have received the most attention. But what about the safety of your network? Making sure your IT hygiene is in good health is just as important! Cyber hygiene practices can keep important data safe and well-protected, as well as your endpoints.
There are many simple ways to practice good cyber hygiene. In fact, there’s even a “National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day” that takes place on the third Monday in October every year. This national day serves as a reminder for every business to take time to organize the team’s virtual desktops! Similar to taking time to practice self care, healthy IT habits show your devices and network that you care.
Let’s Start with the Basics: What is Cyber Hygiene?
Digital Guardian shares: “Cyber hygiene is a reference to the practices and steps that users of computers and other devices take to maintain system health and improve online security. These practices are often part of a routine to ensure the safety of identity and other details that could be stolen or corrupted. Much like physical hygiene, cyber hygiene is regularly conducted to ward off natural deterioration and common threats.”
Cyber hygiene covers the practices and precautions users take to keep private data organized, safe, and protected from theft and cyber criminals! It’s a vital part of every SMB’s Managed IT and Managed Cyber Security toolbox. Do you remember the last time you cleaned your desktop? Or emptied the virtual trash bin? Or allowed the OS to update to the latest version? All of these little acts dramatically increase the speed of your computer and strengthen cybersecurity!
Steps to Improve Your SMB’s Cyber Hygiene Habits…
“A cluttered IT environment can result in ignoring the warnings signs of a potentially catastrophic breach. Despite best efforts, most organizations overlook systems and users in their network as they scale up in size. Before deciding on a security solution, it’s important to first understand what you are protecting. Applying a “hygiene first” approach to security architecture will give you full visibility into your IT environment and help you address blind spots in your architecture.
Once you identify these, you can find the security solution that provides comprehensive threat prevention, detection and response and satisfies your organization’s security requirements. This will ensure that you stay ahead of attackers! You can’t protect what you can’t see. IT hygiene provides visibility into the “who, what and where” of your environment while giving you the means to address security risks before they become issues. This lets you clear, sort, and label your piles — so you can accurately assess the status of your network.” Crowd Strike
Cyber Hygiene Best Practices for Your Business
Maintaining an organized and clean IT environment is a key component for strong cyber security! Practicing these “healthy habits” at the workplace will help protect your company’s data, network, and endpoints. But where to start? Here are a few ideas to help your team get started on improving cyber security…
Step 1: Install reputable antivirus and malware software
Step 2: Use network firewalls
Step 3: Update software regularly
Step 4: Set strong passwords
Step 5: Use multi-factor authentication
Step 6: Employ device encryption
Step 7: Back up regularly
Step 8: Keep your hard drive clean
Step 9: Secure your router