“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” - Oprah Winfrey
Thanksgiving is all about shifting our focus – on “honing in” and being more mindful of all of the things that we can be thankful for. So, this Thanksgiving, together with the roasted turkey and the bourbon, let’s be aware of some of those perhaps basic yet incredibly valuable resources that keep our organizations safe from the dangers of cyber-crime. Here are five cyber health strategies we can appreciate this year as we dig into that pumpkin pie:
Together with the Appetizers – Let’s Start by Acknowledging Passwords
Yes – it’s still true! We can be grateful for strong, unique passwords with capital letters, numbers and symbols – a basic yet important approach to safeguarding company accounts against hackers. Longer passphrases should also be considered – as they are almost impossible to crack, because many password cracking tools break down at around 10 characters. Additional protection for password-protected accounts involves MFA (multi-factor authentication), which provides an additional layer of security.
Tip: It’s best to set expiring passwords that limit stale accounts or ghost users from hurting your security – which, perhaps surprisingly, is a common area of vulnerability.
With the Main Course – Appreciate the Blessing of Anti-Virus Software
A good anti-virus package that’s kept up to date is worth celebrating – as it provides valuable protection against viruses, malware, worms, Internet threats, and more. Among other things, strong anti-virus packages also offer safe browsing features that ensure users don’t accidentally visit malicious websites. Moreover, anti-virus software means employees who use USBs can safely scan them as a matter of habit – an important practice, as USBs are prone to carrying malware and viruses that otherwise could be transferred to the company network.
Up to the Delicious Sides? Consider Updates & Patches
It may be basic network hygiene, but let’s acknowledge that an aggressive policy to implementing updates and patches is a blessing, eliminating many of the software-based vulnerabilities that can lead to attack. You can boost your organization’s cyber health significantly just by putting systems into place that monitor the network and continue to detect missing critical updates.
Pour Yourself a Drink – and Toast Periodic Team Training
There’s no better time than Thanksgiving to appreciate how great your team is! Yet people continue to be the weakest link in cyber security. From a cyber-health perspective, regular employee awareness campaigns and team training keeps employees informed, aware, and on guard – so they look out for common signs of fraud and other kinds of malicious behavior. Training makes the difference in preventing careless errors or being “tricked” by external parties into providing data or passwords, helps users know how to spot and avoid phishing or malspam – and teaches them to be suspicious of emails that have a sense of urgency or ask them to bypass standard procedures and common sense.
Round Off Your Thanksgiving Feast! Appreciate Advanced Security Services
Last but not least, the availability of advanced security services is a blessing, offering everything from high-level incident enrichment and threat intelligence to automation based on AI and machine learning. If you’re working with an advanced security service provider, you know it’s a reason for thanksgiving. Because, when push comes to shove, you just want to know that someone’s got your back – and can stop an attack in its proverbial tracks.
CyberProof wishes you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!