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How to Protect Your Network

Amanda Barfield

 

Sometimes keeping up with cybersecurity can feel like trying to herd cats – virtually impossible. It is true that cybersecurity is constantly adapting and becoming smarter, but there are still ways to greatly reduce your risk. While the specifics may change with cybersecurity trends, the topics remain the same.

  • Password Security
  • Backup Data
  • Patching Systems
  • Permissions and Auditing
  • User Training

The more familiar you are with these topics, the more secure your environment will be; no matter how evolved cyber attacks become. Staying up to date on these methods through threat sharing assists you with the most recent implementation practices.

 

 

Password Security

One of the simplest ways to keep your network protected is through complex passwords and password security. To create complex, unique passwords for each user account, you can utilize websites, such as Keeper to generate and store your passwords. Keeper is a password manager and digital vault; you can create, save, and edit all passwords for your accounts while knowing that your data is safe.

Two-Factor Authentication is another layer of security added to your passwords that requires the user to input their password as well as have access to their mobile device when logging in. This second layer is helpful in the event that a password is entered correctly by someone other than the authorized user. The system being logged into requires an authenticator code before it allows access. Large companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft offer their own versions of two factor authentication for their user accounts. For more information on two factor authentication for Google, Apple, or Microsoft, see:

 

 

Backup Data

Backing up your company’s data can give you peace of mind in the event of a power outage or when your systems go down for maintenance. The more recent backup data you have, the quicker you can recover critical data and continue with productivity. The data can be recovered from the last successful backup and your day to day operations continue as usual. While DefenseStorm does not provide backups of your data, there are many great companies out there. The list below provides links to a few good options.

 

 

Patching Systems

System updates frequently include updates to their security measures. Therefore, making sure your systems are up to date assists in preventing successful cyber attacks on your network. If your systems are outdated, it gives attackers the ability to more easily hack in and corrupt your network.

 

 

Permissions and Auditing

Another way to help prevent a successful cyber attack is by ensuring that users have correct permissions for any necessary systems.  According to cybersecurity best practices, the correct permissions are the lowest possible privileges needed to do their job. Reducing the number of users that have access to critical data also reduces possible hacker access points.

Making sure you have an audit process in place to track all permissions and permission changes allows for quick verification of user access levels and permissions in the event of an unauthorized permission change.  

 

 

User Training

Before you begin training users, you should have a solid reporting policy in place. This allows the users to know exactly what steps they need to take if they come across an anomaly or potential indicator of compromise (IOC). Make sure that your users are familiar with how the network is supposed to run, and what they should look for to help prevent cyber attacks. This provides a high level of security because all users are then acting as network monitors alongside your security team.  Train all users to have a “see something, say something” mentality. It is far better to report something that is a non-issue, than not to report something that ends in a successful cyber attack.

Yes, the cybersecurity industry is constantly changing; but keeping up to date on all user passwords, critical data backups, system updates, permissions, and training greatly reduces the possibility of a successful cyber attack.

 

 

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