The popular adage states, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” This is especially true with cyber resilience since cyber criminals need trick only one victim or access one entry point to damage or infect the entire network. Because of this level of vulnerability, organizations need to formulate and require adherence to cyber security policies that will protect its employees and thwart attackers.

Create and Enforce Strong Password Policies

Making passwords more difficult for an attacking algorithm to guess or steal is one of the best ways to ensure cyber safety. Longer passwords with a mix of alphabetic, numeric, and special characters and without dictionary words embedded within them can render brute-force attacks worthless – especially when the organization implements an automatic lockout protocol for repeated login failures. Routinely changing passwords on set timed intervals further reduce the chances of a brute-force attack succeeding. Providing password vaults to employees will prevent them from keeping physical copies of their passwords.

Provide Strict Controls on Hardware and Software Additions

Creating and maintaining an inventory of all IT assets can be a valuable tool for safeguarding a network’s entry points. You should assign one group or department to oversee installations, upgrades, and removals of IT assets. You should also designate standard software programs and suites, both to reduce cyber vulnerabilities and to reduce time and money spent on help desk tickets. New hardware and software should be evaluated and inspected, with only the responsible IT group performing installations. Finally, you should apply both physical and electronic safeguards to prevent anyone from installing unauthorized devices or software.

Assign Access Levels on Need-Only Basis

The best way to build and maintain security permissions is to default to no access, grant permissions to narrowly-defined groups, and assign employees to the groups. Establishing a need-only security policy reduces the chances of attackers viewing or stealing sensitive data. Need-only permission assignments also reduce the possibility of unauthorized employees gaining access to restricted physical areas. Assigning permissions to an individual employee instead of a group can be a security risk, especially if the employee’s duties or responsibilities change.

Provide Mandatory Education and Training

The most successful cybercrimes bypass physical and electronic safeguards by tricking their victims into providing sensitive information or installing malicious programs. Attackers often pose as a representative of a government agency, a financial company, or a department of the organization being targeted, threatening some form of punishment to trick the victim into giving valuable information or clicking on an infected link. The best defense against these social engineering attacks is to train employees and keep them informed about new trends and updates in cybercriminal activity.

CyberCompass Can Help Form a Culture of Compliance

CyberCompass’ security services investigate an organization’s cyber health and vulnerabilities, providing detailed reports and recommendations on how to maximize your cyber security. Our online academy provides valuable information to our clients, teaching them to prevent cyber-attacks and maintain strong cyber health. Contact us today to schedule a phone consultation, request a demo, or receive a quote for our services.

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