5 simple cybersecurity practices you shouldn’t underestimate

  • The number of information security incidents increase each year.

  • Even though cybersecurity risks are growing more complex, that's no excuse to ignore simple security practices that may appear basic.

For the past several years, the number of information security incidents has climbed at dramatic rates. According to PwC’s Global State of Information Security Survey 2016, last year saw a 38 percent increase in detected security incidents from the year before, while in 2014 the number of incidents increased 48 percent from 2013. The message is clear: As technology advances, cybersecurity is becoming a more pressing issue.

With security threats becoming more abundant and more sophisticated, it’s easy to ignore simple practices. But doing so can put your enterprise at risk. While you need a tailored, strategic approach to your overall security needs, don’t neglect the basics. They might not stop advanced attackers from assaulting your organization, but they’re the front line in preventing threats, and can help safeguard private data.

Here are five easy practices that can help fortify your security foundation:

1. Regularly reevaluate workers’ access rights. Limiting permissions can circumvent problems with private data. The fewer people who can access a system, the lower the risk. Consider whether employees actually need to access an application or whether they should be privy to certain information. Only give out access rights for sensitive information when absolutely necessary, and constantly reevaluate these permissions.

2. Immediately revoke access to all applications after an employee leaves. When workers leave your company, they also can leave major security holes. Change passwords to accounts they used, and cancel any physical access cards immediately. All it takes is one disgruntled employee to retrieve private information or data if you are not prepared against this threat.

3. Change passwords regularly. Changing passwords is an important part of any security practice, but it’s often undervalued. Passwords may not be the strongest form of security, but they’re everywhere, and frequently changing them—and avoiding vulnerable passwords—is crucial, especially against malicious insiders. Set a password-changing schedule to help ensure employees switch them often.

4. Keep software up to date. Update firmware, including firewalls and routers, regularly. By checking these systems frequently, you can help keep your security technologies responsive to new threats. Leaving aging security software on devices makes your enterprise vulnerable to attacks.

5. Lock up devices. Even though there are plenty of external security risks, a lost or stolen laptop or cell phone can cause tantamount damage. In fact, lost and stolen laptop computers were behind 68 percent of the data breaches in the healthcare system in 2014, according to the Bitglass Healthcare Breach Report. So what does this mean? Lock up company devices when leaving the office for the day, and safely store them when you take them out of the office as well.

When you have your bases covered, conduct security audits to critically examine your company’s cybersecurity strengths and weaknesses. Learn  more about AT&T Network Security solutions that can help you manage threats and improve cybersecurity uniquely designed to your business’ needs.

Brie Hiramine Writer Sponsored post About Brie