Сybersecurity has been one of the most popular topics worldwide for the last couple of years. We’ve seen so many data breaches (Facebook scandal, Google password breach, etc.) and brutal cybersecurity attacks that it’s almost impossible to ignore the fact that people have to put more attention to cybersecurity measures.
Recently, one of the most repulsive was the attack against the World Health Organization, where criminals set up a website imitating the WHO’s internal email system to steal login credentials from the organization’s employees.
For ordinary companies, risk levels increase exponentially as the extended perimeter becomes more challenging to control.
Phishing emails and malicious websites have activated dramatically in the last months as hackers try to exploit coronavirus-related keywords. According to Forbes, between March 9 and 23, more than 300,000 new phishing websites were created.
Cyber hygiene refers to the practices and steps that users of different devices take to maintain system health and improve online data security. These operations are often part of a routine to ensure the safety of identity and other information that could be stolen or corrupted. Much like physical hygiene, cyber hygiene is regularly conducted to ward off natural deterioration and common threats.
Benefits of Cyber Hygiene
There are two fundamental advantages of routinely cyber hygiene procedures – maintenance and security.
Firstly, maintenance is essential for computers and software to run at peak efficiency. With time files become fragmented and programs become outdated, increasing the risk of vulnerabilities. Moreover, routines that include maintenance are likely to spot many of these issues early and prevent serious problems from occurring. A corporate system that is well-maintained is less likely to be vulnerable to cybersecurity risks.
We believe that security is the most important reason to incorporate a routinely cyber hygiene practice. Hackers, identity thieves, advanced viruses, and intelligent malware are all part of the hostile threat landscape. While predicting threats can be challenging, preparing and preventing them becomes feasible with sound cyber hygiene practices.
Essential Cyber Hygiene Practices
Even companies that have met compliance or regulatory obligations can improve their cyber hygiene, as the above mentioned recent examples can attest.
Here we chose 4 steps that CISOs can take to improve cyber hygiene and protect their enterprise.
1. Identify at-risk users and risk owners and add training activities
Monitoring web traffic and hygiene among your users is crucial to predicting breaches. Once identified, high-risk users can be given training or subjected to tighter endpoint controls. Owners of risk, like a Director of the Care Department, who is responsible for customer personal identifiable information (PII), should also be educated on more advanced security measures they need to take.
2. Create a cyber response plan
Regardless of size, all businesses should have an incident response and recovery plan to minimize downtime in the event of a cyberattack. Make sure you and all the employees are familiar with this protocol, so there are no questions about the next steps during an incident if it occurs.
This includes having a hotline prominently displayed, so employees know who to contact if they suspect there has been a breach. You also need to ensure that this hotline is controlled 24/7 or that an after-hours number is available.
It is a good idea to set an automated notification to the CISO and security team to swiftly shut down the process with a potential threat or start taking other measures according to the protocol. Time is a key because waiting to learn about a breach until after your support team arrives for work may be too late.
3. Update Regularly
Regularly installing updates across devices, platforms, and operating systems is an integral step to achieving healthy cyber hygiene. Though it’s easy to ignore updates when you need to meet a deadline or assist a customer, failure to keep your devices updated can drastically simplify the process for cybercriminals seeking to corrupt your device.
One of the most effective and most accessible ways to avoid that tendency is to set automated updates and add them to your work calendar to prepare for it. You can schedule other business processes, such as brainstorming sessions or meetings, for this period.
Regularly applying updates and patches ensures that the operating system and software you are using are protected against known vulnerabilities.
4. User Management
Conducting an audit of the number of users with admin privileges on critical applications for your business, like ElectroNeek, is a vital step of cyber hygiene. The more users you have with admin privileges on business apps, the higher likelihood that those assets can be exploited.
If admin credentials on a critical asset were to be compromised, it could be the gateway to a significant breach. To combat this, identify your most used, crucial apps and platforms and audit the number of users with admin privileges.
For example, in the ElectroNeek Platform, users can invite team members to work on the same project together but with different roles and functions to build a productive work environment.
There are 5 roles for team members:
- An employee is a user whose part in statistics is shown in the People Dashboard.
- Attended bot runner builds and launches bots.
- A developer uses Studio, creates workflows, uses Orchestrator.
- Analyst checks People Dashboard, Automation Recommendations and searches for the processes to automate.
- Administrators can do anything within the platform, including inviting users and assigning different roles to them.
This way, all your team members are assigned to different tasks, and you can always identify users at-risk who need additional training about cyber hygiene.
With the ElectroNeek Platform, you can build a programmed robot (or several) that will continuously observe your enterprise network inside-out and outside-in, to discover the attack surface and analyze hundreds of billions of data points that impact your risk. You can automatically detect, analyze, automate and control all your business processes from the Automation Hub to resolve existing cybersecurity issues, increase productivity and find automation opportunities in your company.
ElectroNeek also provides tailored automation recommendations based on your workflow. You can see the capabilities of ElectroNeek by enrolling in a free trial program. To start the trial, go to Create Account, invite your teammates to the organization and discover where your system needs additional support.