With a greater reliance placed on data systems and networks to support the needs of a highly-evolved commercial system, cyber security is not everyone’s business no matter their sector. The following tips can help you increase your business’ vigilance and cybersecurity solutions in the face of cyber attacks.
1 – Understand that “You are a target to hackers”
It is no longer safe to assume that “this can’t happen to me.” Everyone is at risk and the stakes are high no matter what your personal or financial situation could be. It is also important for protecting the standing and reputation of your university.
2 -Keep software up-to-date
Software updates keep your software at its best and are critical for maintaining your security in face of a cyber threat. Always install these updates as they become available to your software systems.
Turn on Automatic Updates for your programs and operating systems.
Web browsers such as Chrome or Firefox receive frequent security updates. Make sure these are applied as needed.
Keep browser plug-ins up-to-date.
3 – Avoid Phishing scams
Phishing threaten your digital activities — and they will employ a wide range of ploys to encourage you to provide sensitive information. NEVER reveal passwords, ID, banking information, or credit card details to anyone unless you are 100% sure you are dealing with someone you know.
Remember that phishing scams can be carried out through a variety of methods including text messages, phone calls, social media communications, or, most commonly, via email. Be on high alert for anything that looks very official but includes odd requests for personal or financial information.
Because all industries are vulnerable to this type of attack, it pays off to identify these scams and do what you can to protect yourself.
4 – Practice good password management
We are all encumbered with more passwords than we can manage, and it is easy to make things easy by using the same password for a variety of accounts. A safer alternative is to use a reliable password manager which can help you generate and maintain strong passwords. This program will also remind you to update your passwords frequently and verify credentials automatically.
Don’t forget to read more about how to protect your passwords in our article on How To Protect Your Credentials.
5 – Be careful what you click
Avoid visiting websites you are not familiar with or downloading programs from dubious sources. Even seemingly “good” programs can be laced with malware when sourced from unscrupulous providers. Malware can be installed onto your computer and generate a serious problem.
ISO recommends using browser add-ons like NoScript or Click-To-Play that can prevent malware from being downloaded and stop Plug-In content from being installed. This can avoid malware issues and secure your devices from attack.
6 – Protect Devices
The physical security of your devices is just as important as digital security.
If you will be leaving your laptop, phone, or any other mobile device unused for any amount of time — lock it up so that no one can access it.
If you are keeping protected data on a flash drive or some other external memory source, make sure this information is kept encrypted and password-protected. As for desktop computers, make sure they are shut down or at least have the lock screen in effect when not in use.
7 – Safeguard Protected Data
Make sure you keep a full account of the sensitive data you use and make yourself fully aware of any associated restrictions. Review the UCB Data Classifications so that you have a better understanding of the required levels of protection.
Some general guidelines include:
Keep high-level Protected Data like SSNs, student records, credit card information, and health information, off of your workstation or mobile devices.
Securely remove sensitive data files from memory after they are no longer needed.
Use encryption when storing, accessing, or transmitting sensitive data.
8 – Use mobile devices safely
Considering how versatile and ubiquitous mobile devices are in business and commerce and how susceptible they can be to all types of attacks, you will want to make sure they are properly protected:
Lock all devices with PIN and password – never leave devices unprotected in public.
Install apps from trusted sources only
Keep the device operating systems up-to-date.
Don’t open links or attachments from unknown emails or texts.
Never transmit or store personal information on a mobile device.
Most handheld devices include data encryption technology.
9 – Install antivirus/anti-malware protection
The only programs that you should install must be from trusted and reliable sources. Make sure that you keep engines, definitions, and all software updates on point to ensure the maximum effectiveness of your businesses digital efforts.
10 – Back up your data regularly
You may still be the victim of a determined cyberattack. But if you have all your data backed up regularly you can minimize the damages in case you have to erase everything and reinstall your systems.