6 Tips for Managing Cyber Security
At Merit, we understand the critical importance of cyber security management for every business. Ensuring your company’s protection is not only a matter of technology but also involves cultivating a security-conscious mindset among your team. Let’s explore six essential steps for managing cyber security to fortify your defenses against cyber threats.
Step 1: Stay Current
The first and most crucial step is to keep all your devices and software up to date. This includes computers, operating systems, applications like Microsoft 365 and anything else that connects to the internet. Regular updates often include security patches that address vulnerabilities and protect your systems.
Thankfully, tools like Somos offer a straightforward way to stay on top of updates. They will keep your apps current and alert you if any applications are out of date, ensuring you plug potential security gaps promptly.
Unsure where your security gaps lie? IT consulting can help you assess your vulnerabilities.
Step 2: Embrace Endpoint Security Software
All devices that access your network, from smartphones to servers, are considered endpoints. To start managing cyber security and safeguard these entry points effectively, you need reliable endpoint security software, aka antivirus or anti-malware software.
This software diligently monitors each endpoint for malware and unusual behavior, enabling remote updates for enhanced protection.
Step 3: Beware of Phishing Emails
Phishing emails continue to be a favored tactic among cybercriminals, targeting both small and large businesses with complex cloud services in place. To protect yourself, be cautious and avoid clicking on any suspicious links.
Instead, manually type the URL of the company in your browser or hover over the link to inspect its legitimacy.
Check for unusual sender email addresses or domain misspellings. When in doubt, pick up the phone and call the company using a known phone number to verify the email’s authenticity.
You should also stay vigilant when dealing with emails related to money transfers or gift cards. Exercise common sense, and if something seems off, it’s better to double-check in person rather than falling for a potential scam.
One last thing: Be cautious of email attachments, especially from unknown senders. Malicious attachments can harbor harmful macros, leading to various threats like viruses, ransomware or keystroke loggers.
Remember: You should never allow a file to run a macro if you’re uncertain of its source.
Step 4: Protect Against Hacker Emails
Some cybercriminals aim to blackmail victims by sending fabricated emails to their contacts. Ensure that your email address is not publicly available on the internet, and refrain from using your business email on social platforms like LinkedIn.
Hackers can exploit this information to craft convincing phishing emails.
You can check if your email has been part of a known hack by using services like https://haveibeenpwned.com. While this is not a complete solution, it provides a helpful way to figure out if you need to change your passwords.
Step 5: Practice Strong Password Protection
Passwords play a significant role in your security defense, so it’s essential to use strong and unique passwords for each account. Avoid reusing passwords across multiple websites, as this increases the risk of compromise if one gets exposed.
Consider using a reliable password manager like LastPass, Keeper, Dashlane or 1Password. These tools help generate strong passwords and keep them safe across your devices while providing encryption for added protection.
Additionally, you should enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) or two-factor authentication (2FA) for an extra layer of security if you haven’t already.
Step 6: Safeguard Personal Information
Protecting personal identification information (PII) and personal health information (PHI) is paramount. When sharing sensitive data via email, ensure you encrypt the information.
Look for “https://” in URLs when filling out online forms: It’s an easy way to determine if the website you’re on has a secure connection.
Managing Cyber Security: Next Steps
Managing cyber security isn’t something to be afraid of or something you have to tackle on your own. At Merit Technologies, we prioritize your business’s security, and our team is ready to assist you in establishing robust cyber security management.