Industry experts warn us that the trend with cyberattacks is that they increase greatly on a yearly basis and they show no signs of slowing down because hacking is a highly profitable crime. It’s important to remember that cyberattacks are a question of when – not if. This is because cybercriminals don’t always have a specific target, they often enough throw things out onto the web and see what sticks.

The vast majority of cyberattacks are preventable. They can be prevented with advanced software and hardware, but they can also be prevented with awareness and behavioral changes online. Here’s a checklist of the best things you can do to up your cybersecurity hygiene.

Strong Password Policies

We don’t mean to beat the dead horse, but we cannot stress this enough. Users should avoid using predictable phrases for their passwords. Using a combination of nonsense capital letters, alphanumeric characters and symbols is a good way to keep cybercriminals from guessing your password. If you have trouble remembering multiple strong passwords, store them in a trusted password manager.

Don’t Click On Pop Ups You Don’t Need To

When browsing the internet, users are confronted with countless ads and pop ups. If you aren’t familiar with the website, don’t click on it. Links are often used in phishing and malware attacks. Cybercriminals use the identity of trusted brands to get unsuspecting users to click on their links, so even if you know the company, it’s best to look them up through a search engine and avoid clicking on pop ups.

Education and Training

Your company is only as good as its weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity. Many employers would be surprised by the amount of employees that fall victim to social engineering attacks, such as spear phishing. Spear phishing is just like phishing, but the cybercriminal uses very specific details to make the target believe it’s not suspicious. The best way for an organization to ensure their team is ready to defend against cyberattacks is to enroll them in training. To learn more, read our article on cybersecurity training.

Enabling Firewall Restrictions

Firewalls can be a combination of software and hardware that create a filter for incoming and outgoing network activity. Installing and configuring firewalls can be difficult, and having them set up incorrectly is a costly mistake. If you aren’t sure if you’re maximizing your firewall’s security features, contact your MSP for assistance. When it comes to network security, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Do Not Open Emails from Strange Addresses

Malicious emails can be used to add malware or ransomware to your system. Most know that malware can be transferred through email attachments but not as many are aware that malware can also be transferred from opening the email. Phishing is also done massively through email so it’s important to pay attention to the email address, grammar, and context of an email. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out.

Use 2 Factor Authentication

Even strong passwords may not be enough to secure your network because credentials can be bought on the dark web, and it’s more common than you think. Authenticators are among the most effective methods of protecting networks from being accessed by unauthorized users, because even if they have the correct login credentials, they would also need the randomly generated token that can only be accessed from the authorized user’s registered device, which is usually their personal cell phone.

Conducting Risk Assessments

This is best done by cybersecurity experts. Proper risk assessment involves experts analyzing and identifying vulnerabilities within the system that the hackers can potentially exploit. After identifying the risks, they can then be mitigated. They can range from operational risk, transactional risk, data management risk, and storage risk.

Need An Expert Opinion?

KLH’s tech experts can help your business improve and achieve exceptional cybersecurity hygiene. Contact us at 952-258-8200 or info@klhmn.com to find out how we make technology work for you.