(Submitted by Natasha McDowell)
With a rise in the number of cyberattacks being reported in recent months, cybersecurity is catapulting to the forefront for many in the public square, whether they be business owners, members in the healthcare industry, or school districts throughout the nation.
Organizations are often under threats that put sensitive information and business continuity at risk. The addition of mobile and cloud technologies, although essential and beneficial, extends security challenges.
As trusted technology advisors, we at RITE Technology would like to take this moment to share some steps that businesses and organizations can take to increase their cybersecurity stance and stay safe.
Common areas to evaluate, in terms of threat mitigation, are:
- Access Control & Password Management
- Network & Communication
- Data Encryption
With those in mind, here are a few guidelines your business or organization can implement right away to combat cybersecurity threats:
- Evaluate the strength and frequency of your passwords. In other words, make sure that the passwords that you are using are significantly complex enough not to be easily guessed. If need be, use a password generator. These are easily found online through a simple keyword search. Additionally, do not use the same password for all your accounts and be sure to change your passwords regularly, at least once every 30 days is suggested. Worried about forgetting which passwords you used? Then sign up for a password management solution. Many can be found online by doing a search using your favorite search engine. All of this may take a little extra time on your part, however, when an online retailer or a website that you use gets hacked, though the bad guys may get access to the that particular username and password, at least they won’t gain full access to your finances and other accounts as well.
- Train Employees on Cybersecurity Best Practices. In terms of communications, a little education for yourself and your employees can go a long way in preventing massive intrusions into your systems. Know how to combat phishing emails by properly reviewing them before clicking or opening attachments. Ask some of the following questions:
- Is this from someone whose email I recognize? (Be sure to check the email carefully! Hackers are very clever in these regards.)
- Do I know other people who may have been cc’d on the email?
- Was the email sent at an usual time of day? (Ex. 3 a.m.)
- When I hover over a hyperlink in the email, does the link-to address match?
- Are there any grammatical or spelling errors anywhere in the email? (In the email address(es), body of the email, or in any links included in the email?)
- Implement Multifactor Authentication (MFA) wherever possible. Data encryption is key to preventing cyberattacks! This layered approach to securing your online accounts is one of the best ways to ensure that the only person who has access to your information is you. Many banks, social media platforms, and even utility companies are encouraging the use of MFA. What is MFA, you ask? It is simply a system of requiring you to verify your identity in two separate ways in order to access an account. For example, you may request a code be sent to your smartphone via text message or an email be sent with a link that you would click on before access to an account is granted. In this way you are doubly protecting yourself and your data, making sure that you are not low-hanging fruit for hackers.
Implementing a multi-layered approach to help safeguard your business’s multi-function printers (MFPs) against security threats is also a smart way to help prevent many unwanted outcomes, such as the following:
- Loss of productivity
- Large fines due to regulatory non-compliance
- Loss of access to data and network
- Loss of competitiveness due to stolen information
- Lawsuits resulting from data breaches
- Loss of business continuity
To learn more about how to safeguard your MFP, download this MFP Security Checklist.
Hopefully, you have found the information in this week’s blog to be helpful. If you are interested in additional guidance, please visit the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) website using the following link: https://www.cisa.gov/shields-up
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