Several cyber security experts have compared cyber health to human health. Just as there is more to your physical health than taking medicine after contracting an illness, there is far more to cyber health than reacting to cyberattacks and IT asset failures. Predicting and preventing network problems can save time and money, if not the life of your business. Keeping hardware, software, and policies up-to-date is necessary to protect your network and data from cyber threats.
Consistently Update Software
Software companies frequently release patches to resolve problems ranging from minor typos to severe security breaches. Your IT department should have clearly-defined policies and procedures to apply updates to all affected devices. Critical patches that address security flaws or issues that render hardware and software unusable should be installed immediately, with lower-priority and lower-severity patches being installed during off-peak hours.
Promptly Remove Obsolete IT Assets
Software and data that are no longer in use waste storage space and processing power. Obsolete hardware takes up physical space and leaves an exploitable network entry point upon which cybercriminals can capitalize. Your IT department should remove obsolete data, programs, and hardware as soon as it is officially classified as obsolete. You should have a policy that defines your procedure for identifying, classifying and removing such data, programs and devices.
Perform Data Hygiene Tasks
When an organization’s data is obsolete, invalid, or infected with code injection attacks, your data itself is a threat to the organization’s cyber health. You should establish data hygiene protocols to protect and maintain your data. Setting common-sense restrictions – such as refusing non-numeric inputs in numeric fields – and standardized prefixes and abbreviations prevent code injection attacks and manage the size and maintainability of your databases. Automated data-scanning processes can reject invalid data and duplicate records.
Train Employees to Resist Social Engineering Attacks
Physical and digital defenses are ineffective when a victim unknowingly allows a cybercriminal to bypass them. Attacks such as phishing, pharming, baiting, and scareware prey on victims’ fears and emotions, tricking them into installing malicious software onto their devices or divulging sensitive data to a cybercriminal posing as an agent to a legitimate agency. The most effective way to thwart social engineering attacks is to teach employees how to detect and neutralize them; online courses and training classes are two ways to accomplish this.
Monitor Technical News
New trends in technology unfortunately lead to new ways to weaponize technology’s defects and flaws. Keeping current with technological trends, developments, and other news helps you anticipate potential threats such as cyberattacks and critical failures in hardware and software. Preventing problems like these, or drastically reducing the potential effects of the problems, saves you far more time and money than reacting to an unexpected cyber security crisis.
How CyberCompass Can Improve Your Cyber Health
CyberCompass provides a variety of cyber security solutions for your organization. We can guide you on creating sound cyber health strategies and building cyber resilience. We can help you develop business strategies to recover from security incidents and failures. We also teach your employees on how to defend from multiple types of cyberattacks through our CyberCompass Academy. Contact us today to schedule a phone consultation, request a free demo, or receive a quote for our services.