February 06, 2018

The Basics of Cybersecurity Hygiene

Information assurance and cybersecurity work can often be reactive and focused on solving specific (and sometimes urgent) problems. But to keep your systems and devices secure, basic cybersecurity hygiene cannot be overlooked. Here are some ways you can get back to basics, improve your information security, and help keep your organization healthy:

Know your network and users

  • Compile a comprehensive and current inventory of hardware and software on your network.
  • Keep a log of your network-connected devices and their users.
  • Ensure users only have the privileges they need to do their job. Limit the number of users with administrative access.

Manage installations

  • Define trusted and prohibited software, and consider which installations need IT approval first.
  • Develop, document, and disseminate processes for software installation for all users in your networks.
  • Find and remove unused applications that may pose a cybersecurity threat.
  • Patch all applications regularly.

Educate your users

  • Develop and execute a plan for teaching all your end users about device security.
  • Implement password protocols and teach your users to create strong passwords.
  • Help your users learn to identify and resist social engineering attacks.

Back it up

  • Examine your current back-up process—and if you don't have one, get started ASAP.
  • Consider cloud-based and on-site backup locations.
  • Document your backup protocols and share with all impacted users.

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. An investment of time and attention in cybersecurity hygiene now could save you from some big headaches down the road.

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