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Cybersecurity is an ever-changing domain driven by two main factors, technological diffusions and changing user patterns. The rising adoption of smartphones and social media infiltration define new user trends. That means that organizations relying on critical IT infrastructure must remain at the top of their cyber efforts to avert potential incidents.
This year, after a ravaging pandemic, most enterprises are faced with the growing challenge of adopting a strong cybersecurity posture. We have witnessed big boy brands such as Walmart, Amazon, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Starbucks, and Gucci reinforcing their digital strategies amidst a grueling pandemic, a clear indication of the evolving nature of technology. The fuelled adoption of technology underlines the need for protection and safety.
Unfortunately, even as tech adoption continues to grow, many challenges negate any efforts toward successful transformation. Below, we look at several cybersecurity tips to protect yourself this year. This article delves deeper into the best cybersecurity practices that individuals and enterprises should be considering this year and beyond.
1. Use strong passwords
Individuals and enterprises must reinvent their protection measures to remain protected in 2022. A crucial part of this is strengthening their password protections by using strong and secure passwords. Users must change passwords for different user accounts. That means that the credentials you use to log in to Gmail are not the ones you use for Outlook or Microsoft.
Leveraging strong passwords protects your infrastructure against brute force attacks. Brute force attacks occur when a hacker uses software that generates random passwords. The goal of the brute force attack is to guess your password and gain access to all accounts linked with these credentials.
2. Create an IT asset inventory
You can’t successfully protect your critical IT infrastructure if you don’t have its inventory. So, the first step of protecting yourself this year is having a baseline inventory of all your IT assets. Unfortunately, keeping track of all the assets connected to the internet is becoming difficult. This challenge emanates from the distributed nature of today’s workforce.
Gartner reports that 30% of all IT hardware is stolen or ghosted. The theft and misplacement of critical IT have led to a scenario known as the “shadow IT.” This scenario is common in organizations. Shadow IT is where employees circumvent vital IT guidelines and requirements to deploy the software and hardware they want.
For instance, accounting personnel may download an open-source software and use the money intended for a paid version for personal uses. Unfortunately, the free version may contain technical loopholes that hackers may use to access critical business documents, including RFQs and RFPs. Having an accurate hardware and software inventory provides enterprises with clear visibility of their cybersecurity preparedness.
3. Conduct ongoing monitoring
Cybersecurity is an ever-changing domain that demands flexibility and adaptability. Organizations must constantly update their software to meet emerging computing demands. Often, hackers take advantage of outdated software because they can embed malware and obtain protected information, data, and assets. Ongoing monitoring of your IT environment provides end-to-end visibility of potential attacks. Visibility translates to meaningful business continuity.
4. Use multi-factor authentication MFA
The multi-factor authentication is a two-way model of protection. Users who leverage the two-factor authentication combine a password and a physical device, usually an endpoint like a smartphone or a PC. Hackers cannot access your email even with your password
after initiating the two-factor authentication.
The verification process sends a text message to your phone or your computer. And because hackers hardly have access to both your phone and email simultaneously, they can’t access your Gmail account even with your password. The two-factor authentication is becoming an increasingly preferred way to protect yourself and your business in 2022.
5. Update your cybersecurity policies
Administrative practices are critically underpinning in reinforcing cybersecurity efforts. That means that personnel tasked with administrative tasks must be informed and educated on new cyber threats and how to protect themselves. What’s becoming clear is that businesses often have policies and procedures that don’t conform to new technologies.
For instance, new policies that don’t address emerging cybersecurity threats. Or new policies that fail to accommodate shifts in consumer user patterns and cybersecurity best practices. Security policies are the cornerstone of any successful cybersecurity effort. That means that organizations must ensure they constantly revise their cybersecurity policies to respond to new shifts.
6. Raise cybersecurity awareness
In 2022, cybersecurity awareness is more critical than ever. Organizations must use a people-centric cybersecurity approach to avert new threats. In addition, organizations must reduce the number of individual employee negligence. Many cyber attacks occur because of employee negligence, including leaving endpoints unprotected and opening malicious files, links, and websites haphazardly.
A crucial part of raising cybersecurity awareness in 2022 is informing employees about popular phishing methods and techniques. Essentially, phishing techniques, unlike common hacking attempts, involve deception. Phishers essentially send emails purporting to be from reputable companies, organizations, and institutions. Phishers send emails to targeted users who confuse these emails as belonging to well-known institutions and organizations.
These emails convey fear and trauma and prompt victims to act quickly. A phishing email may claim that unknown parties have access to your debit card, and you end up calling the hackers and providing your personally-identifying information. Therefore, you must educate your employees on new cyber threats to remain protected in 2022 and beyond.
You can contact Bastionpoint to reinforce your cybersecurity efforts.
We’re happy to talk to you and see how we can help you improve your business!