Maintaining Cyber Hygiene to Combat Cyberattacks

By November 18, 2020 November 30th, 2020 No Comments

Cyberattacks are on the rise and don’t seem to be slowing anytime soon according to the Canadian federal government analysis. As reported by the Cyber Security Center (CSE), the internet and its governing systems are changing rapidly with global forces like China and Russia pushing towards a top down governing system to enable their governments to have greater access to censorship, surveillance and state control tools. Because of these changes, cyberattacks and ransomware have become more prevalent around the world.

Small to medium sized businesses are often at highest risk, as they lack the resources to build their own IT security preventative measures, and generally lack awareness and training for cyber security. This makes basic cyber hygiene one of the most practical and cost efficient practices they can employ into their current workflows.

What is Cyber Hygiene?

Like physical hygiene, cyber hygiene is a regular process that’s conducted in order to maintain and improve the health of a digital system. In this case, the system will be a business’ electronic devices and online security. Cyber hygiene follows a set of guidelines and steps that ensures that all bases are covered when maintaining the security and health of your digital system. 

It follows a cyber hygiene checklist that has 11 essential practices to prevent and manage the most common cybersecurity risks, which include:

  1. Identifying and prioritizing key organizational services, products, and their supporting assets
  2. Identifying, prioritizing, and responding to risks to the organization’s key services and products
  3. Establishing an incident response plan
  4. Conducting cybersecurity education and awareness activities
  5. Establishing network security and monitoring
  6. Controlling access based on least privilege and maintaining user access accounts
  7. Managing technology changes and using standardized secure configurations
  8. Implementing controls to protect and recover data
  9. Preventing and monitoring malware exposure
  10. Managing cyber risks associated with suppliers and external dependencies
  11. Performing cyber threat and vulnerability monitoring and remediation
Documentation Analysis and Typical Cyber Hygiene Policies

Upgrading your business’ cyber security takes time, and it should start with documenting and analyzing your existing equipment, which includes your hardware, software, and applications that are currently in use. Once this list has been established, you can begin to scrutinize it for vulnerabilities and implement new changes to patch any flaws within the system. 

A cyber hygiene policy can be established to help prevent future attacks, and help maintain the health of the system. Some typical cyber hygiene policies may include:

  • Password changes
  • Software updates
  • Hardware updates
  • Managing new installs
  • Limiting users
  • Backing up data
  • Employing a cyber security framework  

This process can be complex and time consuming for many small to medium sized businesses, but with expert guidance, keeping your digital assets safe can be done with ease. Contact us at Resilient IT to establish cyber hygiene standards for your business during the pandemic and will continue to be protected well into the future.

Quentin MacAulay

About Quentin MacAulay

Owner/CIO at Resilient IT. One part of a talented team of IT professionals committed to serve our customers by providing superior technical knowledge combined with business acumen and customer service that exceeds expectations. We leverage the strength of our team, partnering to deliver best in class solutions that are cost effective and enable our clients to focus on the growth of their business. I lead Resilient from a sales and operation perspective.

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