October is here and throughout the month we celebrate National Cybersecurity Awareness. Cybersecurity awareness campaign was first observed in 2004. The purpose of the awareness campaign is to educate and aware people around the globe on how to keep themselves secure from cyber-crimes. This awareness campaign also serves as a reminder for businesses to prioritize cyber security and update security protocols rather than updating them post a cyber-attack.
National Cybersecurity awareness month theme for 2022 is – “See Yourself in Cyber” – which reminds us that cybersecurity is all about protecting people from cyber crimes. In today’s rapidly evolving technologies, cyber threats are becoming more prevalent and constantly evolving. Cybercrime is one of the fastest-growing types of crime in the world. It affects all types of businesses, big or small, and no industry is invulnerable to it. Hence, it is crucial to keep your business secure from cybercrime.
Let’s go through the top 10 Do’s and Don’ts to protect your business in 2022:
- Do not click on links or attachments sent from Unknown sources
Email is one of the common modes through which cybercriminals try to gain access to your system and steal information. Their intention is for the receiver to click on a link, open an attachment, or download something. This further leads to the automatic installation of malware on your system.
If you receive an email from an unknown source containing an attachment or a link, don’t open it. The general rule of thumb is to NEVER open an attachment in an email unless you are expecting it.
- Do keep your operating system and drivers updated
Software updates are usually sent when security flaws are identified. It is advised to keep your operating system updated to the latest version.
- Do keep an eye on Phishing scams and report emails from unknown sources to your IT team
Phishing attacks are one of the most common cyber crimes since they are easy and inexpensive to send and have the potential to reach multiple victims. Phishing attack is a cybercrime wherein the criminal will pose as someone the recipient knows or send an email from a seemingly legitimate link. This type of cybercrime can lead to financial loss, loss of information, and identity theft, to mention a few.
Hence, it is advised to keep a check on emails received from unfamiliar senders and report anything unfamiliar or suspicious to your organization’s IT team.
- Do update your password frequently
Cybercriminals are aware that most people tend to use the same password for multiple accounts. The dark web provides criminals with billions of username/password combinations available for sale – often for free. Criminals use these credentials to get into multiple accounts. Hence, it is advised to use a unique password for all your accounts. It is also important to use strong passwords. You should avoid using names, cities, sports teams, and date of birth in your password.
It is also advised to update your password frequently – at least once in 3 months.
- Do use two-factor multi-factor authentication
Two factor or multi-factor authentication involves additional authentication even if your password was breached. Organizations using additional factor of authentication are less prone to cyber-crimes compared to organizations relying on single-factor authentication.
- Do not connect your system to unknown or public networks.
You may assume connecting system to an unsecured or public network is harmless, but it is not worth the potential consequences. Connecting to public network gives network access to everyone that is connected. So, any data your send or receive can easily be breached. Hence, it is advised to connect your system to only private networks or use a virtual private network (VPN). This encrypts your connection and aids in data protection.
- Do not think you are invulnerable.
If your business is online, you are not immune from cyber crimes. If you keep the mentality of “it won’t happen to me”, you couldn’t be more wrong. Organizations spend huge amounts of money on cybersecurity protocols and still get affected by cyberattacks and even a small breach costs organizations thousands of dollars.
- Do keep a backup of your data.
Cyber crimes usually result in loss of important data. In order to avoid this, it is advised that your back up your data frequently on the cloud or a local storage device.
- Do organize cybersecurity training for employees.
Cybercriminals commonly aim to get into an organization’s system through an employee. These criminals take advantage of human error and vulnerabilities. With adequate training and awareness, your employees can become first line of defense against cyber-crimes.
Hence, it is advised to ensure your employees are well-trained, understand the importance of cybersecurity, and follow necessary security protocols.
- Do conduct regular risk assessments
It is crucial for all types of businesses to conduct regular assessments of security protocols at place. It is advised to have a reliable, and third-party security analysis team conduct an audit of your security protocols. These audits help in knowing if your current security protocols meet the level of security your business requires.