Keeping data and devices healthy and secure requires regular cyber hygiene practices by organizations and individuals.
Data security and protection are the goals of cyber hygiene, and it works similarly to personal hygiene. To maintain their health, people take precautionary measures, such as flossing to prevent cavities and handwashing to prevent disease spread. Cyber hygiene measures can help organizations prevent data breaches and other security incidents.
IT security managers, analysts, and technicians are not the only ones responsible for cyber hygiene; all departments and users need to prioritize it as well. Following current email security best practices, such as avoiding public Wi-Fi and creating strong, unique passwords, is one way almost every employee can help maintain proper cyber hygiene.
Why Cyber Hygiene is Important
There are numerous benefits to cyber hygiene. Improved security posture minimizes the risk of operational interruptions, data compromises, and data loss through good cyber hygiene.
A company's security posture refers to its overall cybersecurity program and how well it is positioned to respond to emerging threats. Cyber hygiene goes a long way toward optimizing cybersecurity.
Inadequate cyber hygiene can lead to security incidents, data compromise, and data loss. Depending on the severity of the breach, the organization may suffer financial loss, government fines, operational downtime, organizational upheaval, reputation damage, or even legal liability.
Examples of Cyber Hygiene
Cyber hygiene is a general practice that can protect you online, but there are several best practices you can use to improve your cyber hygiene. Examples are outlined here.
Install reputable antivirus and malware software
Installing antivirus software is the first and perhaps most important step. The primary function of antivirus software is to scan for and eliminate computer viruses, malware, and other malicious software. As a component of your overall cyber hygiene, it protects you from security breaches.
Make use of network firewalls
Maintaining good cyber hygiene also requires the use of a network firewall. Websites, mail servers, and other web-based information sources are protected by firewalls as the first line of defense against unauthorized access.
Other Examples of Good Cyber Hygiene
- Passwords should be strong
- Regularly update your software
- Encrypt devices
- Make regular backups
- Make sure your router is secure
- Authenticate with multiple factors
- Maintain a clean hard drive
What an Employee’s Cyber Hygiene Means to a Business
Individuals and businesses can benefit from cyber hygiene in many ways. In Equifax's case, good cyber hygiene may have prevented the infamous data breach and saved millions of dollars and its reputation. In a public health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it might also offer greater peace of mind to remote workers.
Neglecting cyber hygiene can lead to all kinds of problems for businesses and individuals. By maintaining software and computers, more serious problems, such as data loss due to corruption or hacking, can be avoided.
We Can Help
Trava can help you ensure the good cyber hygiene of your organization. Please contact us to learn how we can help.