Basic Cybersecurity Best Practices

Basic Cybersecurity Best Practices

Your business probably has comprehensive cybersecurity policies for all employees to follow. However, even with these protections, it’s important to stay vigilant when it comes to keeping your company’s data and network safe and secure. Cybersecurity best practices include being cautious when engaging in online activities, following company rules, and reaching out for help when you encounter something suspicious. It’s important to remember your actions — or lack of action — could be the difference between “just another day in the office” and a major security break that harms the company’s reputation and costs a lot of money. Own your role in cybersecurity by following the best practices listed below.

Keep Software Up-To-Date

Install software patches so that attackers cannot take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. Forgetting to install patches will allow hackers to exploit the system’s weaknesses. Many operating systems offer automatic updates. If this option is available, you should save yourself the headache and enable it.

Run Up-To-Date Antivirus Software

Even the best-trained team occasionally makes mistakes. Having anti-virus and anti-malware software installed on computers adds an extra layer of protection. It can automatically detect, quarantine, and remove various types of malware. Don’t forget to enable automatic virus definition updates to ensure maximum protection against the latest threats.

Use Strong Passwords

Cyberthieves have developed powerful algorithms that can correctly guess complex passwords in seconds. So, create passwords that will be difficult for attackers to guess and use different passwords for different programs and devices. It is best to use long, strong passphrases or passwords consisting of at least 16 characters with a mix of numbers, symbols, and capital and lower-case letters.

Bonus Tip: Default usernames and passwords are readily available to cybercriminals. So, make sure you change default passwords to a sufficiently strong and unique password as soon as possible.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

While strong passwords are a good start, it’s not enough. Nearly all security professionals recommend using multi-factor authentication (MFA) too. Authentication is a process used to validate a user’s identity. Attackers commonly exploit weak authentication processes. MFA uses at least two identity components to authenticate a user’s identity, minimizing the risk of a cyberattacker gaining access to an account even if they know the username and password.

Install a Firewall

Firewalls are important gatekeepers, restricting traffic in, out, or within a private home or business network. Firewalls may be able to prevent some types of attacks by blocking malicious traffic before it can enter a computer system and by restricting unnecessary outbound communications. Some device operating systems include a firewall already. You just need to enable and properly configure it as specified in the device or system owner’s manual

Be Suspicious of Everything

Email look suspicious? Don’t click on it. Pop-up offering you a deal too good to be true? It’s probably is!  Phishing emails are currently one of the most prevalent risks to the average user. The goal of a phishing email is to gain information about you, steal money from you, or install malware on your device. Therefore, be suspicious of all unexpected emails and double-check where emails come from before responding, especially if something sounds off.

Backups, Backups, Backups

Hackers thrive on being able to disrupt an organization’s activities, but regularly backing up critical data is key to defeating ransomware. An offline backup will enable your business to get back on its feet while cybersecurity experts deal with damage and fallout from a cyberattack.

While cybersecurity threats continue to increase, so do the tools organizations have at their disposal to mitigate their impact or prevent them from happening. At GTS, we offer a variety of security solutions and are happy to help identify places where your defenses could be stronger. So give us a call at (904) 606-6011 or email to learn how we can help protect your small business today.


Paul May